Euro 2012 Final: Spain's Beatdown of Italy Makes Them Favorites for World Cup

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01: (L-R) Xavi Hernandez, Fernando Torres, Jordi Alba, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta and Alvaro Arbeloa of Spain celebrate during the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Spain absolutely walloped Italy in the 2012 Euro Final match, winning 4-0. They are heading into the 2014 World Cup as the favorites to win once again.

Spain's road to this year's final wasn't always smooth. To be honest, they should have probably lost the semifinals game against Portugal, but the soccer gods granted them their blessing. They came away from that match with a chance to put their stamp on the pinnacle of the sport, and they didn't disappoint.

The way Spain dominated Italy in the final was brutal, yet if you're a fan of champions acting like champions, it was also a beautiful sight to behold. When the pressure was at its height, Spain greeted the challenge with a roar of defiance.

The level of dominance we're seeing from this team over the course of the last handful of years has been otherworldly. First, they won the 2008 European Championship. Then, they rode their momentum into the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and won. 

They followed up their mastery over the world with another victory at this year's European Championship. There's no way another team is going to overtake them heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Some of the top players on their squad are still young. They'll be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years, with guys like Cesc Fàbregas (age 25), Juan Mata (age 24), David Silva (age 26) and Sergio Ramos (age 26) leading the way. 

Oh, don't forget about Fernando Torres, who is only 28. 

These players will still be in their prime when the 2014 World Cup arrives, and it's going to be interesting to see how the rest of the world approaches this Spanish team in Brazil.

Spain will be the heavy favorites to win their second-straight World Cup. They should be. God knows, they've earned the right.