SPAIN. Boring or brilliant? After last night, there are surely no doubts.
Questions will remain over whether this team is the best we have ever seen, but few can deny that they were worthy recipients of more silverware, with a 4-0 victory over Italy –the biggest-ever win in a European or World Cup final – confirming their place once again as the Kings of Europe.
The discerning voices had grown louder over the merits of Spain's tiki-taka style as Euro 2012 had progressed, but Vicente del Bosque's side saved the best till last. They silenced the doubters with a sublime display that left Italy helpless in Kiev as La Roja claimed their third successive major tournament triumph.
Critics had been lining up to condemn del Bosque for his approach in Poland and Ukraine; with the use of the controversial 4-6-0 formation that saw big-name stars such as Fernando Torres forced to settle for a place on the bench beside their manager in their group stage encounter with the Azurri.
Many 'experts' claimed it would never work, as Scotland showed in Prague, yet if any team were capable of employing such a system, it is this Spanish side.
When your midfield six has speed of foot and thought as well as intuitive movement and guile, then even a £50million forward will have a hard job getting his name on the teamsheet.
Cesc Fabregas once again assumed the lead role, but he was not the only central protagonist in Spain's latest success story. David Silva and Andres Iniesta provided support, and Sergio Busquets and Xavi controlled matters from deeper positions.
In the end, del Bosque was proved right as Spain cruised to a hat-trick of tournament successes in supreme style. It was yet another night to savour for the veteran coach.
The focus will rightly be on Spain's magnificent forward play, primarily from midfield, but their dominance as well as their superiority stretches to every aspect of the game.
It has now almost been 1000 minutes since they conceded a goal in the knockout stage of a major finals, with their Euro success all the more creditable given the fact that they were without their inspirational captain Carles Puyol.
The manner of Italy's semi-final victory over Germany had given the Azzurri hope that they could upset the odds and inflict a rare defeat on the European and world cham-pions, yet Cesare Prandelli's side failed to fire in Kiev as their dreams quickly turned into reality.
Italy are one of the few sides who caused Spain any problems this summer, with a 1-1 group stage draw in their opening fixture of the finals. They looked to build on that plucky performance, but, in truth, a repeat was never on the cards.
Spain started as they meant to go on, knocking the ball about with precision and verve from the off. When the red and yellow hordes burst into a chorus of 'ole' after just eight minutes, the players responded like only they know how, spraying passes from side to side, jinking and darting their way through a sea of blue shirts.
Their patient build-up play was soon rewarded with a touch of class, the opening goal of the evening worthy of gracing any stage.
Silva added the finishing touch, heading into Gianluigi Buffon's net from six yards, but it was a goal built in Barcelona as Iniesta's slide-rule pass split the Italian defence before Fabregas planted a perfectly weighted cross into his midfield counterpart's path.
As the large Spanish crowd celebrated, Italy found the determination within themselves to rally.
With La Roja capable of running away with the final, it was a good job Prandelli's side were once again able to summon the heart and desire that has been so prevalent from the Azzurri throughout the tournament.
Their effort didn't bridge the gulf in class, however. Iker Casillas, the Spanish captain, was belatedly forced into action as the Italians enjoyed a brief spell of pressure but two efforts from Antonio Cassano, one a low shot on the angle and the other a drive from the edge of the area, were as close as they were to come before Spain moved up a gear once more.
When the Kiev nets rippled and a cheer erupted around the Olympic Stadium once again, it was little surprise it was the large Spanish contingent who would burst into song.
The goal that all but clinched the trophy came from an unlikely source, yet was still typically stylish, as Jordi Alba scored his first goal for Spain.
It was sheer determination that allowed him to collect Xavi's pass and he showed why Barcelona have just shelled out £12million to take him to the Nou Camp, calmly sliding the ball beyond Buffon to further dampen the Italian spirits.
Things were soon to go from bad to worse for the stuttering Blues.
When Thiago Motta was forced off through injury just minutes after he himself took the place of Riccardo Montolivo, the game was up for the Azzurri, who were forced to play on with just 10 men.
Spain had been efficient rather than effervescent in front of goal thus far, with a four-goal haul against the Republic of Ireland their most clinical display, but they soon upped the ante.
Substitute Torres did his best to prove to del Bosque that strikers are still a necessity in the modern game, netting Spain's third of the night to become the first player to score in two successive European finals.
He then turned provider by squaring the ball to his fellow Chelsea man, Juan Mata, to tap home the fourth.
Italy will head home with a bloody nose after a night to forget in Kiev, yet Prandelli has changed the ethos of the Azzurri this summer, shunning the defensive approach in favour of a more open system that has allowed the likes of Cassano, Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli to shine.
Once again, though, it was the Spanish stars who shone the brightest.