Fernando Torres Earns Golden Boot After Spain Wins Euro 2012 Tournament

Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 1, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01:  Fernando Torres (C) of Spain scores their third goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Spain's Fernando Torres is the winner of the Euro 2012 Golden Boot Award. 

Seriously (via FOX Soccer):

BTW... @Torres is the winner of the #EURO2012 Golden Boot.

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 1, 2012

The Golden Boot goes to the player who scores the most goals during the tournament. After the Chelsea striker scored in the 84th minute—just moments after coming on as a sub—during Spain's thumping of Italy in the final, he moved into a six-way tie at three total goals. 

Russia's Alan Dzagoev, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Italy's Mario Balotelli, Germany's Mario Gomez and Croatia's Mario Mandzukic all scored three as well. 

The tiebreaker is assists, and the only player of those six to have an assist was Gomez.

Until the 88th minute.

Torres found himself wide open in the box, and as goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon ran at him, he dumped the ball off to Chelsea teammate Juan Mata for the finishing touches. That assist tied Torres with Gomez, but because the Spaniard did it in fewer minutes, he wins the award.

In a tournament that featured Denmark beating Netherlands and Greece beating Russia, this might just be the upset of Euro 2012. The often-ridiculed Torres has clearly had his problems, and his inability to find consistency was a large reason why Spain was criticized for not having a striker. 

But after scoring two goals against Ireland and then coming on for a miraculous late goal and assist in the final, Fernando Torres managed to defy odds and take home the Golden Boot.