The Back of the Net boys file their final report: Spain 4-0 Italy
Spain added yet another title to their bulging trophy cabinet, players and fans erupting in joy as midfield stalwart Xabi Alonso was awarded the coveted Golden Beard.
Alonso was expected to face a stern challenge from ItalyÃ¢ÂÂs Daniele De Rossi, who has won Serie AÃ¢ÂÂs coveted Beard of the Year prize three years running, and who recently made headlines by endorsing a leading brand of muttonchop combs.
But when they finally went head to head in Sunday nightÃ¢ÂÂs hotly-anticipated beard-off, the ItalianÃ¢ÂÂs facial thatch was oddly lacklustre and dull, allowing the Real Madrid man to romp home with the gong by four Darwin Points to nil.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs great to win it,Ã¢ÂÂ said Alonso of the Golden Beard, which was cast in 1979 from a mould of Paul BreitnerÃ¢ÂÂs face and jaw, and whose previous holders include Trifon Ivanov, Socrates and Olof Mellberg.
Ã¢ÂÂBut I couldnÃ¢ÂÂt have done it without the lads. Cesc Fabregas lathers it up, Raul Albiol combs it out, and Sergio Busquets rubs a soothing, lavender-based lotion into my follicles. A beard as lovely as this, I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt trust anyone else to touch it.
Ã¢ÂÂWe were expecting more from De Rossi, but you canÃ¢ÂÂt afford to not use conditioner at this level.Ã¢ÂÂ
"It is rather lovely, isn't it?"
To cap a perfect night for Spain, manager Vicente Del Bosque was presented with the Platinum Moustache award, an honour that came as no surprise to Alonso.
Ã¢ÂÂNo-one deserves it more,Ã¢ÂÂ said the ex-Liverpool man. Ã¢ÂÂThe bossÃ¢ÂÂ soup-strainer is an inspiration to us all. HeÃ¢ÂÂll be delighted, though you wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt know. His upper lip is too heavy for him to alter his expression.Ã¢ÂÂ
More match reports from Back of the Net:ITA 2-0 GER: Fans let down as Balotelli fails to behave like a performing sealSPA 0-0 POR: Portugal combat 'slightly less good Spain' tag by playing like Spain, only slightly worseITA 0-0 ENG: England lament justice of penalty shoot-outESP 2-0 FRA: France fail to turn up, turn up, fail to turn up, loseGER 4-2 GRE: Germany put long-suffering fans through slight discomfort POR 1-0 CZE: Ronaldo: "Ronaldo? Ronaldo, Ronaldo. Ronaldo!"