Pique makes case for Spanish defence

Spain defender Gerard Pique has hailed the defensive foundation which he believes is key to their unprecedented success.

The no nonsense Ramos in action...

Spain sealed a third consecutive tournament win last night by beating Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final - a feat never before achieved in international football.

Remarkably Spain closed the tournament on a run of 510 minutes without conceding as they were only breached once in the entire competition.

That run also extends the world champions' run of not conceding in tournament knockout games to 10 matches.

Pique said in AS: "On a defensive level we have been very good, not only the defenders and [Iker] Casillas.

"The whole team has been very good in general. It was important not to concede and we had the luck to score because the chances always arrive."

Uncharacteristically Spain had less of the ball in the opening period than the Italians but led at half-time thanks to goals from David Silva and Jordi Alba.

And when Cesare Prandelli's side were reduced to 10 men when Thiago Motta went off injured after the break the holders rammed home their man advantage with further goals from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.

"In the first half we didn't have so much of the ball but with the two times we threatened we scored," said Pique. "With the injury to Motta everything was much easier as they had been left with 10."

The Barcelona defender also paid tribute to former Liverpool and Real Betis defender Miki Roque who died after a fight with pelvic cancer last week at the age of just 23.

"We always had Roque and his family very much with us."



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