Congratulations. Parabéns. Felicidades.
As you might have already noticed, these words mean congratulations in English, Portugese, and Spanish. Hats off for each and every player that contributed to the insurmountable success the Spaniards attained throughout a tournament filled with unexpected revelations.
But most meaningfully, parabéns to one player that camouflaged himself into the Spanish national team to become my best player of the tournament: Marcos Senna.
Despite not winning player of the tournament, the Brazilian star has gained world-wide appreciation for his efforts with the Furia Roja (Spain). Playing as a lone central defensive midfielder in Aragones' campaign, Senna is the back-bone of the Red Fury.
Senna basically "dominates the field". Not particularly tall at 5'8'', or muscular, he denies opponents space, recovers possession, then slides into Spain's carousel passing, hitting his target more than any teammate.
Not a particular star attraction, Senna has come a long way since landing in Villareal and being a key player to the team. Not many people know this, but Senna has faced some horrendous behavior from Spanish supporters regarding his skin color.
He's had water bottles thrashed at his face, heard some atrocious remarks, and fallen to his knees praying for an end to this racism. Quite rightfully, Senna has achieved all this through his hard work, proving that "special players" are the only ones who receive these kind of actions.
In spite of this, he fought back and illustrated his world caliber class in Euro 2008. Guarding some of the best players on the globe, Senna put a temporary halt to their stardom.
With the help of the tremendous back-line for Spain, Senna put a hold on threats such as Andrei Arshavin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Ballack, Lucas Podolski, Loca Toni and many others.
Yet, he's unnoticed by most.
Senna supplies three (sometimes four) attacking options on the Spanish national team that include: Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Fernando Torres, and an occasional Xavi. A close observer of the Spanish would certainly inform you that every attacking mode Spain run, Senna has to be invisibly involved.
Without Senna, I do not believe that Spaniards could have been victorious throughout their European run. Not even Xavi, in my opinion, can do what Senna does.
According to David Villa, "He gives us the balance we need and does the dirty job."
One aspect though that surprises me most is the fact that opposing teams do not comprehend that he's the spine for the Red Fury. If I were Germany in the final, I would certainly have cut off all kinds of supply to Senna because he is the main threat. This strategy would have easily been applied had every coach "noticed" it.
Senna's invisibility makes him the most valuable player in the tournament. I don't care how much stars get paid per game, how much media attention stars received attention despite getting knocked out of the tournament. Marcos Antonio Senna da Silva, you're simplicity in play makes you my player of the tournament.