Spain Hope To Make History With Third Straight Major Win

If Italy, as expected, fail to beat Spain in the final of Euro 2012, Vicente del Bosque's side will have achieved a truly remarkable feat - winning three major tournaments in a row. No other side has ever managed it (unless we're counting the Olympics, which we're not). What's more, they'd have done so without ever really breaking a sweat.

Should Spain win at the Olympic Stadium, they'll probably win 1-0. It's their modus operandi, like Arsenal in the 1990s or Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. They don't score nearly as many as they could, of course, but that may well be besides the point. When push comes to shove, they don't concede either. Ever.

Since June 2006, Iker Casillas has seen his goal breached four times during the knockout rounds of the Euros and World Cup. All four goals came in penalty shootouts. Spain have played 900 minutes of football - ten matches' worth - and have yet to concede a real goal. Even if you wanted to be silly count the shootout goals, Spain's defensive record is equivalent to shipping 15 goals over a 38 game season.

Spain are built to win games, and win them in an absolutely soul-crushing manner. If they can claim their place in history by beating Italy, their victory will show the triumph of pragmatism over beauty.

We'll have features, news updates and live coverage of the match in our Spain vs. Italy, Euro 2012 StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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