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Germany 0-1 Spain



EURO 2008 FINAL
Germany 0-1 Spain Match report

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE
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By Caroline Cheese

Anyway, time for me to stop rambling. Can I just say thank you to everyone who got involved with your brilliant texts and 606 chat. It's been immense. I know you think I'll choose Fernando Torres' goal as my Champagne Moment but I'm going for Spain skipper Iker Casillas ending 44 years of hurt by lifting the Henri Delaunay Trophy. Victory for Spain, the best all-round team at the tournament, capped a magical Euro 2008.

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Spain lift Euro 2008 trophy

2204: As I type Spain midfielder Xavi is hugging Euro 2008 mascots Trix and Flix. Good for you Xavi. I'm going to miss those guys too. And look, more fireworks. Why must this tournament end? Why?

2200: Spain win their first trophy for 44 years which as someone pointed out ages ago leaves England as "lone champions of underachievement". At the World Cup in 2010, it will be 44 years since England last won a major trophy. I'm just saying, that's all. It doesn't mean England will win. Because they almost certainly won't.

2157: I don't even know why I bothered looking. Of course, it's Fernando Torres who wins the Player Rater users' vote as man of the match with 8.33. Those same users have given the German defence very short shrift - although the entire team were a bit of a let-down tonight.
Player Rater

2152: Iker Casillas lifts the trophy to an explosion of noise at the Ernst Happen Stadion and the ticker-tape tumbles down. Bastian Schweinsteiger can't bear to look. He turns away and sits down.

2151: Fernando Torres gets an extra-loud cheer as he gets his medal, while Iker Casillas wraps King Juan Carlos in a big hug. Is that allowed?!

2150: As their jubilant fans sing "Campiones, campiones..." the Spanish squad step up. They then head down to a platform where the jumping can begin.

2148: Well I say glum faces but Michael Ballack manages to crack a smile as he has a chat with Michel Platini. Jens Lehmann gives the trophy a rueful rub as he walks past.

2147: And here come Germany to receive their losers' medals from Michel Platini. Glum faces all round as you would expect.

2146: The officials appear to be booed as they come up to get their medals.

2144: Aragones and German counterpart Joachim Low exchange a friendly handshake. Low's team were not at the races tonight. Michael Ballack experiences the losing feeling for the fourth time this year after defeats in the Carling Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

2141: Luis Aragones doesn't look all that pleased to be given the 'bumps' by his players. Careful boys, he's knocking on 70 you know. Oh good, Trix and Flix have arrived to join the festivities.

2140: "Best tournament ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
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2138: Spain start the party, which brings to an end 44 years of hurt. The fireworks are being let off in Madrid. Oh how I wish I were there.

2136: FULL-TIME Germany 0-1 Spain

2135: As we move into added time, the Spanish fans start the "oles" as their team stroke the ball around. Surely now...

2133: Bastian Schweinsteiger has his head in his hands as the ref spots a foul, with the ball bouncing around dangerously in the Spanish penalty box.

2130: Two minutes remaining and Germany look very, very tired. Kevin Kuranyi is booked for a late tackle on Marcos Senna, which buys valuable time for Spain.

2128: Kevin Kuranyi is penalised - rather harshly - for a foul on Marcos Senna. Free-kick 25 yards out. Xavi - high and wide.

2126: "I want Spain to win it in normal time but I want Euro 2008 to last as long as possible!"
Anon via text on 81111

2125: Oh my word. That was like Gazza in Euro 96. Daniel Guiza heads Santi Cazorla's cross back across goal where Marcos Senna is stretching - but the ball goes millimetres past his toe.

2123: Jens Lehmann comes to the edge of his box to deal with a long ball and appears to handle it outside his area, as Daniel Guiza lurks. Nothing given.

2120: Goalscorer Fernando Torres is coming off and I think that means he hasn't finished a game at Euro 2008. Daniel Guiza is on. Germany also make a change as Mario Gomez replaces Miroslav Klose.

2118: I don't know how many more times I can write this: Xavi - again - slides the pass through for Fernando Torres, who flicks the ball past Per Mertesacker but too far ahead and Jens Lehmann collects.

2116: "What the hell?! How is it the 70th minute already?"
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2115: "Perhaps not surprisingly, you can really feel the tension in the Ernst Happel Stadium. The headbutt incident has added a steely edge to the match, which has become increasingly stretched."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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2113: Torsten Frings has a promising free-kick on the left but Iker Casillas gets a good punch on it.

2112: And Jens Lehmann is in action again as Andres Iniesta improvises and flicks a shot in at the near post. Lehmann has been by far the busier keeper tonight.

2110: Marcell Jansen doesn't bother to get involved with the German offside trap and that leaves Sergio Ramos with a free header from the free-kick. Saved well by Jens Lehmann.

2109: Now David Silva is off, to be replaced by Santi Cazorla as Spain look to regain control.

2107: Ugly scenes. Lukas Podolski runs over to David Silva and the pair lock heads, with the Spaniard flicking his head towards the striker. Michael Ballack runs about 40 yards to get involved. The ref gives Germany the free-kick and tells everyone to calm down.

2106: Cesc Fabregas's Euro 2008 final is over. He is replaced by Xabi Alonso.

2105: Germany break dangerously. Bastian Schweinsteiger hammers in the shot but it comes off Miroslav Klose and goes wide.

2104: Great work from Iker Casillas, palming Michael Ballack's cross away from the oncoming Kevin Kuranyi. Germany are going for it now, and their fans are responding.

2102: A mistake by Carles Puyol lets in Marcell Jansen. From the cross, Bastian Schweinsteiger sets up Michael Ballack, who volleys narrowly wide.

2101: Sergio Ramos plays a dangerous ball across goal, but there is no-one there to apply the finishing touch.

2100: And here is that change. Kevin Kuranyi comes on to win his 50th cap, replacing Thomas Hitzlsperger.

2059: "Joachim Low is going to have to shuffle things around soon because Spain are playing in the same controlling way they did in the first half."
BBC Sport's John Motson

2057: Xavi again with the measured pass through and Fernando Torres is in, but Jens Lehmann is quickly out this time and smothers the ball.

2056: Xavi screws a shot wide. It doesn't seem to touch anyone on the way through but the ref decides to give Spain a corner anyway. Nice. The ball comes out to David Silva who has plenty of time to measure his shot - but it fizzes just wide.

2054: Spain are sitting very deep in the early stages of the second half. Dangerous game to play. Germany appear to be playing in the same formation, with Marcell Jansen a direct replacement for Philipp Lahm at left-back.

2052: Miroslav Klose takes a kick in the ***** from Carlos Marchena. "That's bound to be sore," says Graham Taylor on BBC Radio 5 Live. Indeed.

2051: "Europe's The Final Countdown brings the players out for the second-half. I guess that for once playing the song is justified on all levels."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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2051: Marcell Jansen, you'll remember, had a calamitous game in the defeat by Croatia and was hauled off at half-time. Users of Player Rater rewarded him with a mark of 4.02.

2047: It's Philipp Lahm who has come off for Jansen. Must be an injury, surely. Have they gone 4-4-2?

2046: Looks like Marcell Jansen is coming on for Germany...

2044: "Spain have not played with the personality they are used to. They have five players in the midfield and it's not working for me, there are too many players trying to pick the ball up in the same position. I'd take a midfielder off, even though they are winning. The build-up is too slow."
BBC Sport's Marcel Desailly

2044: "All going Spain's way at the mo - but don't count out the Germans. Low is very canny and I can see them getting back into this - but hopefully Spain can kill them off."
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2042: "Its been a fantastic game of football. The Germans had the better of 10 minutes, but as soon as the Spanish got them turning, they gave a masterclass in how to pass the ball. The German full-backs made the centre-backs look like world-beaters, which is saying something. But Spain are so pleasing on the eye."
BBC Sport's Alan Hansen

2039: I probably hardly need tell you that it's goalscorer Fernando Torres who is top of the pops on Player Rater. The Liverpool striker is on 7.95, ahead of Cesc Fabregas on 7.66. Germany right-back Arne Friedrich is proving to be Mr Unpopular on 4.90.

2037: "A touch of concern from the German fans, who lost their voice as Spain started to turn on the style. Must they play Enrique Iglesias at half-time? We've already heard it from the man himself."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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2035: "It's a very intriguing game. Germany started very well, but Spain have taken control. With the goal, you can see that as Lahm chases Torres, he sees Lehmann coming and eases out of the challenge. That was a misunderstanding that cost Germany dearly. Schweinsteiger has to get into the game more."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

2032: HALF-TIME Germany 0-1 Spain

2031: Another sizzling move from Spain as Xavi slides the pass for Andres Iniesta, but the midfielder delays his cross too long and Germany recover. One minute remaining. Where did the time go?!

2029: Carles Puyol and Michael Ballack get involved in a bit of unnecessary. The referee is apparently bored of all this nonsense and books Ballack and opposing captain Iker Casillas.

2027: Michael Ballack is still off the pitch as Thomas Hitzlsperger takes a free-kick from the right. The delivery is poor but he gets another chance as the ref tells him he hadn't blown his whistle. That allows Ballack to return - but Hitzlsperger completes a nightmare minute by messing up the delivery again.

2024: Michael Ballack comes back on but about 30 seconds later, he's told to go off again - with blood still pouring from that cut.

2022: Spain are running riot now. Andres Iniesta clips a delicious pass for David Silva, but his volley is ruddy awful. Sliced laughably. Just when Germany don't need to be down to 10 men, Michael Ballack is injured in an aerial challenge with Marcos Senna. He is off the pitch, receiving treatment to a cut above his eye.

2018: GOAL Germany 0-1 Spain
It's a half-chance, if that. From Cesc Fabregas's pass, Fernando Torres outpaces Philipp Lahm and dinks the ball over the advancing Jens Lehmann. Pretty poor defending from Germany, but Torres shows a real striker's instinct.

2017: Drama. The ball bounces up and hits Spanish defender's Joan Capdevila's arm. Another penalty shout, another one turned down. Ball to hand, I guess. Up the other end, Per Mertesacker times his challenge on Fernando Torres brilliantly to stop the Liverpool striker in his tracks.

2015: "It's an excellent game. I'm really enjoying it. Sometimes finals are a bit stale but these two are really going at each other."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Chris Waddle

2013: Thomas Hitzlsperger plays in Lukas Podolski down the left but the striker's control is dreadful and by the time he's got himself together, Spain recover.

2012: Roberto Rosetti has his first big decision to make - and gets it right. Sergio Ramos jumps to block Michael Ballack's volley, prompting handball claims. It hit his ribs.

2010: "The German centre-backs just hammer it downfield straight to Iker Casillas when they pass it long - especially Per Mertesacker. The Turks isolated him in the semi-final and he just kept giving the ball away."
BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson

2008: So close. Cesc Fabregas plays Sergio Ramos into space on the right and his cross is headed onto the bottom of the post by Fernando Torres, who easily outjumps Per Mertesacker. After a slow start, Spain are very much in this.

2006: Fernando Torres thumps the turf in frustration after he is tripped by Christoph Metzelder. Free-kick on the right touchline - headed over by Torres.

2004: Fernando Torres collects the ball down the left-hand channel but as he cuts back for the shot, Per Mertesacker sticks out a leg and nicks the ball away from the striker.

2003: Spain have a free-kick about 40 yards out. Xavi knocks it in but it runs through for Jens Lehmann.

2000: Oh my word. Xavi threads a fabulous pass through for Andres Iniesta, who cuts back onto his right foot. His driven cross comes off Christoph Metzelder - but Jens Lehmann palms it behind for a corner.

1958: Miroslav Klose wins a corner for Germany. Iker Casillas punches Bastian Schweinsteiger's deliver clear.

1956: "I've never seen Spain play so many long balls. I don't know why they're not going through the midfield."
BBC 5 Live analyst Chris Waddle

1954: Michael Ballack beats Carles Puyol and charges to the byeline. He somehow squeezes in the cross, despite pressure from the defender, but there's no one on the end.

1953: Joan Capdevila is caught miles offside as the pass comes to him down the left. A bit too slow and considered from Spain.

1950: But the nerves won't be at all settled by that. Sergio Ramos' dreadful pass is seized upon by Miroslav Klose, but as the German striker goes to shoot he is tackled by Carles Puyol.

1948: Spain are passing the ball around at the back to try to settle the nerves early on, while Germany attempt to close down quickly.

1946: Roberto Rosetti - who officiated in the opening game - gets the last game under way. Hold onto your hats...

1943: Anthems are equal, I'd say. Shaking of hands and we're nearly there. Still no sign of Shaggy though.

1942: "Many more German fans than Spanish inside the stadium, but you wouldn't say there is much difference in the noise levels being generated. Viva Espana is being belted out again and again. I feel like I'm on some early 80s package holiday and half expect Keith Barron to turn up. Great scenes."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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1942: "The players will be so charged-up for this one. It is the sort of game you wait your whole career for. When the guys come out and hear their anthems they will be feeling like superman."
BBC Sport's Marcel Desailly

1940: Right, enough frivolity. Serious now. Here come the teams as the supporters chant Seven Nation Army. Not sure I'll be able to listen to that song without thinking of Euro 2008 now.

1939: "Julio Iglesias just never ages does he?"
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1937: As the balloon daleks slowly denude themselves of their balloons, Enrique Iglesias arrives to sing the official Euro 2008 anthem 'Can You Hear Me?". I'm not kidding, but I can't actually hear him. Oh well. There's surely got to be a role for Shaggy here hasn't there?

1936: "I can't believe what I am seeing, this closing ceremony is just amazing! Words fail me!"
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1933: Apparently, the balloon daleks are supposed to represent players in the tournament and according to Uefa, they "will move together, recreating the matches each team has played." I can't wait to see how they'll recreate Hakan Yakin's goal for Switzerland against Turkey in the torrential rain.

1930: Hurray. There's a closing ceremony! Contraptions made of balloons are being wheeled out and there's a lady in a Marge Simpson style wig - except it's white.

1929: "Germany will either play like they did against Portugal in which case they will win or else try to play like Italy and hit Spain on the counter. Pressure is on the Spanish - they are favourites but haven't won for 44 years."
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1925: But of course Metzelder has good reason to try out some mind games given the German defence's dodgy form during this tournament. Jogi Low's side have shipped twice as many goals as Spain. So much for German efficiency.

1921: And my second favourite quote is this wind-up attempt from Germany defender Christoph Metzelder: "I think Spain have a bit of a complex about these tournaments. It has taken them decades just to get beyond the quarter-finals. I know they have respect for us and that will be in the back of their minds when we play them on Sunday. They are an excellent side, but this is a big game and big games have their own rules."

1916: Marcos Senna has been something of an unsung hero in the Spanish team, but the Brazilian-born midfielder is responsible for one of the finest quotes of the tournament: "The lads like to wind me up because I'm an athlete of Christ and I don't go out much and never drink. They say to me 'Marcos, if we with the Euros we are going to make you stay out until you vomit'."

1912: "It's very important Michael Ballack plays tonight from a Germany perspective and also Torsten Frings, who is the water-carrier in the German side. For Bastian Schweinsteiger to be able to play, they need Frings to break things up. He's vital."
BBC Sport pundit Martin O'Neill

1910: "I'm eating an ice cream, Flix and Trix are revving up the atmosphere (not needed) and Michael Ballack is looking very relaxed as I look at shots of him arriving at the stadium."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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1907: Bastian Schweinsteiger, also known as Basti or Schweini, has found himself rather overshadowed at Euro 2008 by his stunning missus, Sarah Brandtner. Brandtner has been named the top WAG - or FoF as they're known in Germany - in a media analysis of 235 German newspapers. She came out way ahead of Conny Lehmann, wife of goalie Jens.

1903: And there's Bastian Schweinsteiger, his hair combed, gelled and styled to within an inch of its life. There's been lots of debate over on 606 about the exact meaning of his name. According to the Observer newspaper today, it is: "God protects the man who sleeps in the barn with the pigs." So there we have it.

1900: Roberto Rosetti, our referee tonight, is now having a wander on the pitch, as are the Germany players. Lukas Podolski looks so excited, he could burst.

1859: "I've got 20 on Germany and the same on Torres for golden boot. So four goals from him in a 4-5 defeat please!"
Anon via text on 81111

1857: "Cheesy, I'm moving house tomorrow and someone thought they'd be clever and pack the TV early so please say we can watch the match online?"
Fed up Mel in Reading via text on 811111
Be fed up no longer, Mel. The game will be streamed live on the BBC website (for UK users only).

1853: David Villa's absence means he could see his Golden Shoe stolen from him tonight. The Spanish striker has scored four, Lukas Podolski has managed three, while Michael Ballack, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Daniel Guiza have all bagged twice.

1851: "Jaaaaaaaaaaa! Michael Ballack spielt!"
Anon via text on 81111

1849: Spain include Cesc Fabregas in place of injured top scorer David Villa - which is of no surprise to anyone after his brilliant display against Russia. Only Hamit Altintop of Turkey has provided as many assists as the Arsenal midfielder at Euro 2008.

1845: "Ballack on the field. That's a brave decision that the Germans had to take. Even his name on the team-sheet will make the Spanish think. It's a risk by Jogi - but he is smarter than the average bear."
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1840: TEAMS
Germany: Lehmann, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Frings, Ballack, Hitzlsperger, Podolski, Klose.
Spain: Casillas, Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila, Senna, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Silva, Torres.

1838: MICHAEL BALLACK STARTS
Sorry for the sudden attack of bold caps but it's the news you were waiting for wasn't it? Full teams to follow.

1837: The Spanish players are out on the pitch at the moment, soaking up the atmosphere - well as much atmosphere as you can soak up with iPod headphones stuck in your ears. I can't blame them though. That criminal mix of Robbie Williams' Angels and Queen's We Will Rock You is playing over the PA system.

1835: I would like to take issue with one thing though. At 1605 BST, Stevo listed the celebs, politicians, royalty and sportsmen who'll be brightening up the Ernst-Happel Stadion this evening. Mysteriously, one name was missing. And what a name. Mixing with the likes of King Juan Carlos, Michael Schumacher and Harrison Ford will be dancehall reggae superstar and Mr Lover Lover himself Shaggy. What a party that's going to be...

1830: I know, I know. I want Stevo to stay too, but unfortunately there's only so much excitement the little fella can take, and believe me, he's reaching the limit right now. So let's say thanks for the Euro 2008 memories Stevo, and try to move on...

By Jonathan Stevenson

1825: It's with a tear in my eye that I bid you a fond Euro Two Thousand And Great farewell. I cannot imagine having any more work-related fun for three weeks than I've just had, so thanks a million for all your missives and messages and banter and I hope the final lives up to all our expectations. I leave with a final Euro 2008 Stevo Predo: Germany 1-3 Spain. Over to Cheesy. Laters.

1823: "Lots of Spanish journalists are wearing their team's shirt. A couple are even sporting face paint. An unusual sight in the press box but when you haven't tasted success in 44 years..."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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1821: "I'm a schoolkid off on a trip to Germany on an exchange on Thursday, so I really hope Spain win so I don't have to face endless torment, abuse and torture as an Englishman in the country for over a week."
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1817: "If Germany lose tonight, I owe my girlfriend money and a few days worth of washing up. I can't believe Spain didn't bottle it at some stage. And she only picked them because apparently Torres is fit."
Anonymous, via text

1813: Neil Diamond just got a rapturous ovation from everyone in this office. Extraordinary times.

1810: "Is David Villa 100% ruled out yet? Not heard anything definite and Villa himself sounded more optimistic than you would expect during the interview despite saying he would be watching from the stands. News?"
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The news is, there is no news. Except for the fact that it's 15 minutes until Stevo's Predo and just 20 minutes until the remarkable Caroline Cheese takes over. Though right now, she's leading the office in a sing-along to Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline. BBC Two, right now. Do it.

1805: "Germany's luck will run out tonight and we will have a new force in football, the all-conquering, dashing Spaniards."
Rachel, Lincoln, via text

David Silva
1800: Stevo's one to watch: David Silva. A typically Spanish winger with pace, awareness and top-drawer movement, Silva has blossomed at Euro 2008. Was the one player to cause Italy problems by cutting inside off both flanks, finished off the Russians with a tidy hit and is getting better with every game. Playing in bursts, quicksilva is a massive danger.

1757: "Germany have to hussle the Spaniards, close them down very, very quickly and try to hit them on the break. They cannot give Spain any time to play because if they do I can see Germany losing quite comfortably in the end."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

1755: "The rumours are that Michael Ballack is going to play, that's what we're hearing right now."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Graham Taylor

1754: "Cesc Fabregas is amazing, but Spain have so many good players, like Iker Casillas, who was the hero against Italy and could be again tonight. Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol - they're all just brilliant."
Just for you Fletch, it's Enrique Iglesias on Radio 5 Live

Enrique's dad Julio appeared in my last live updates. What's wrong with me? (Do not text 81111 what you think is wrong with me).

1750: "Come on Stevo, raise it. A couple of hours into your clockwatch and no mention of the fact Enrique Iglesias will be performing before the final. No wonder people are flooding through the turnstiles nice and early."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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1746: "I don't like when they have to go up and collect the cup in the stand. I think it's better on the pitch and also feels more like the fans are in on the act!"
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1741: The winners tonight will be presented with the Henri Delauney trophy by Uefa president Michel Platini in the stadium's main stand as part of a return to tradition favoured by the French Euros legend. "Mr Platini engineered the change because he liked the more traditional approach of the players being tired after the game but making that last effort to go up and get the cup," said Uefa spokesman Rob Faulkner.

1735: "Spain deserve to win... if only for knocking out the negative Italians and giving us all a final to look forward to. However I think Germany will prove too strong."
Anthony in Belfast, via text

Bastian Schweinsteiger
1730: Stevo's one to watch: Bastian Schweinsteiger. The peroxide kid with the fancy footwork and most German-sounding name since Germany began is, Michael Ballack apart, their one player capable of delivering a world-class display. Red-blooded men across the globe will be praying he shines in the hope that the camera will pan on to his laughably beautiful girlfriend, Sarah Brandner.

1728: Spain striker Danny Guiza, he of the sublime second goal on Thursday, says he will marry his girlfriend if the Spanish win their first tournament for 44 years tonight. Guiza's missus is none other than Nuria Bermudez, mother of his child, a former model and actress and now his agent. By the way, did we ever hear whether (current) France coach Raymond Domenech's proposal was accepted?

1722: "Spain will win on pens tonight. 3-3, after extra time."
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You have to say, that would be magnificent.

1716: My colleague Phil Gordos spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live pundit and former England manager Graham Taylor about tonight's final and he talks in some depth about both Spain and Germany's chances. His verdict? "You might as well toss a coin." Well, that's how Italy beat USSR in the semis of Euro 1968.
Teutonic power vs Latin artistry?

1709: (See 1701) Just to clarify, Motty isn't actually retiring - he's just doing his last major television showpiece in Vienna tonight. So fret not maverick fact fans, you'll still be able to hear the great man's dulcet tones on Match of the Day and Radio 5 Live next season.
End of the Motson era

1706: They are pretty excited in Spain today, too. "Spain has a date with history," headlines the sports daily AS, with their boys set to play in their first final since Euro 1984, when a Michel Platini-inspired France did for them. The telly audience is predicted to surpass the record of 17 million, or an 84% market share, set during the semi-final against Russia. The country's major department store, El Corte Ingles, has planned to close early, fearing a dearth of customers and to allow its staff to watch the match.

1701: "Stevo, will you be applying for Motson's job?"
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What do you lot think? Should I?

1658: "Touts doing a brisk trade in tickets by the underground stop next to the station. One woman just outside the perimiter fence is wailing, a terrible sound. Not sure what happened to her."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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1653: More from German rag Bild - according to some of you, their version of The Sun: "Bild has learned that the injured captain will definitely be in the starting lineup. In a team meeting after an afternoon training session Ballack's name was written on the line-up board."
Jaaaaaaaa! Michael Ballack spielt!

1649: Apparently, nearly 30 million Germans were glued to their tv's as their boys survived a brilliant Turkey performance to squeeze into the final of Euro 2008 - only one in five television sets were tuned in to something else. Tonight, non-footy fans can feast upon the Rowan Atkinson comedy 'Johnny English' - dubbed into German - and a programme about real-life animal capers in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Do they have Sky Plus in Germany?

1643: "I'm half-Spanish so definitely want Spain to do the business. If they do, however, it will leave England as lone champions of underachievment. Do you think Lampard, Gerrard and co will gain some inspiration? Doubtful."
Dario in Leeds, via text

1638: My colleague John Sinnott spoke to Bastian Schweinsteiger's older brother Tobias earlier today. He plays for German third division club SpVgg Unterhaching and though he's very close to his bro ("we speak on the phone twice a day"), he won't be attending tonight because he "has a slight hip injury". Anyway, Tobias is "very positive about the final and I predict Germany will win 2-1". Suppose he's got to say that, hasn't he?
Read John Sinnott's latest blog

1633:Blue1905 - according to German newspaper Bild, wait no longer - Michael Ballack will play tonight. Maybe they rang Jogi Low or something, I don't know. That's what you call proper journalism. Unless he doesn't play, in which case Bild, you have a lot to answer for.

1631: "Stevo please call Joachim Low or anyone you know tell me if Ballack is playing or not - I can only wait minutes, not hours!"
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1627: If I was due to play tonight, I think I'd be having intensive treatment like Michael Ballack. Twisted my ankle playing football yesterday with my nephew and have been struggling ever since. The good news though, is that at the tender age of 21 months, young Nathan is already a better footballer than his dad. He'll be supporting Spain tonight, for the record.

1624: "A stinking hot day in Vienna. The area around St Stephens is full of fans of both finalists singing, dancing and baking in the sun. Rogue traders are doing a brisk trade in Spain-Germany scarves. Put it this way, I bought one."
BBC Sport blogger Paul Fletcher in Vienna
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1619: "Can anyone help? I'm stuck on who to support! Spain, the country of my second language, or Germany, home to my future hubby, Podolski? Ideas Stevo?"
Hanna, Bath, via text

Well as one of those points is probably true and one of them almost certainly isn't, I'd say Spain, Hanna.

1615: You might be feeling nostalgic about the last major television showpiece commentary of the great John Walker Motson's career. If you are and you're on the web too, I've got a couple of links that might interest you. Only if you're on the web, mind. Did I mention that already?
Video - classic Motty momentsEnd of the Motson era

1611: "You can bet Ballack will play. The Germans will try to rough up the Spanish but they will be too nimble for the stodgy German defence. 3-1 to Spain in normal time."
unclesunnywon on 606
Join the debate on 606

1605: VIP's in Vienna tonight include Spanish royalty King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, German chancellor Angela Merkel - she of the exuberant celebrations - Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, football-obsessed German racing hero Michael Schumacher and, brilliantly, the man who played Han Solo and Indiana Jones - the legendary Harrison Ford. Wonder who he'll be cheering on?

1559: "Stevo, GREAT excitement here. Expats in full Spanish kit and waiting for the unbelievable screaming, car honking and fireworks when we win. Will be a tougher test than Russia, but, Fabregas - the difference in semis - could help the team do it. General disregard for Arrogantes [sic] - but if they win, will be forgotten. PODEMOS!!"
gunner_spain on 606
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1555: So, you're the referee in the Euro 2008 final. One of your assistant's is having an absolute shocker - what do you do? Don't tell Roberto Rosetti (he's actually the referee today), he probably knows. Tell us what you think with You Are The Ref.
You Are The Ref

1549: First bit of pre-match chat from the great Danny the Stat: "Users of the BBC Sport Player Rater are tough mistresses indeed. Not a single Germany player has made the top 10 of the tournament so far - even though the team has reached the final. Spain's David Villa is ranked third with an average of 8.13, although he is set to miss out with injury. Fernando Torres is ninth with 7.57. Lukas Podolski is the top German with 7.40."

1545: "(See 1518) Talking of vacuums, my missus has gone out to buy a Dyson from the future. I hope she doesn't think I'll be using it much. Roll on the match, I hope Spain play to Torres' strengths tonight, he'll be key to creating space."
Jon, Leeds, via text

Your missus has got a time machine and you're still more interested in the game? Fair play Jon from Leeds, fair play.

1540: The pre-match discussion is pretty much exclusively revolving around Michael Ballack and the Chelsea midfielder's calf injury that he picked up on Friday. Now depending on where you look, he's either very unlikely to play, or definitely in the team. Far be it for me to suggest the Germans are playing mind games, but would you be surprised to see Ballack start tonight? Didn't think so.

1535: "(See 1524) I'm the boss of McDonalds, got my new employee working 6-10 today so I can watch the final in peace!"
Anonymous, via text

Ronald McDonald?

1531: A limerick from 606 user xPoppySwirlx:
"Who hasn't heard of Caroline Cheese?
Whose commentary leaves us weak at the knees!
She perks up the night,
With linguistic delight,
Let her replace Motson please!"
End of the Motson era

1528: A thought for neutrals who have already gone one way or the other: For those of your who want Spain to win, just remember the joyous World Cup the Germans gave to our sport two years ago. For those of you supporting Germany, try to think back to Andreas Moller's beyond arrogant strut at Wembley in 1996. Face it, life's easier if you're neutral. Just ask co-hosts Switzerland.

1524: "Hello Stevo mate, went for a job interview yesterday and got the job, now the guy wants me to work today 6 till 10. What am I supposed to do?"
PUSHHYYYY on 606
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Tell him you've got a very important prior engagement that you cannot get out of. And if you tried to, you would be the worst human being on earth.

1518: So soak it up, breathe it in and drink every last drop of Euro 2008 because before you know it, your life will once more be a vast, empty, football-shaped vacuum of nothingness. I know mine will.

1512: Today, the Euro 2008 showpiece pits the old force against the new wave. Germany, the powerhouse of world football, will play in their 13th World Cup and European Championship final. For the record, they've won six, lost six. Spain, for so long not even the bridesmaids but on the reserve list for the evening do, appear in their first final since Euro 1984.

1507: What do you mean it's a bit early to start the build-up? It's not like we get to celebrate such a sensational three-week festival of football every day, is it? I want all your chat, via text on 81111 and by joining the debate on 606. Tell me all - your favourite moments, when you cried, how many Panini stickers you are short of completing the album (that's not an analogy). I want anything and everything, because at 1830 BST, I'll be handing over to the one, the only Caroline Cheese. You've probably heard of her.
Join the debate on 606

1500: Welcome, to the final of the greatest football tournament you may ever get to see in your lifetime.




MATCH STATS: AT A GLANCE

POSSESSION

55% 45%
Germany South Africa

Germany

  • 01 Adler
  • 16 Lahm
  • 03 Friedrich
  • 04 Tasci (46 Westermann )
  • 08 Schafer
  • 07 Schweinsteiger (84 Trochowski )
  • 13 Ballack (80 Gentner )
  • 06 Rolfes (73 Khedira )
  • 22 Ozil
  • 21 Marin (46 Podolski )
  • 18 Gomez (46 Klose )

South Africa

  • 01 Fernandez
  • 02 Gaxa
  • 14 Fransman (60 Tshabalala )
  • 03 Masilela
  • 23 Gould
  • 04 Mokoena
  • 10 Pienaar (86 Henyekane )
  • 05 Mhlongo
  • 13 Dikgacoi
  • 17 Parker (61 Khenyeza )
  • 09 Mphela (84 Van Heerden )

Ref: Claudio Circhetta
Att: 29569


see also
Xavi awarded Euro 2008 accolade
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Germany team guide
15 May 08 |  Germany
Spain team guide
15 May 08 |  Spain
Germany performance analysis
31 May 08 |  Germany
Spain performance analysis
31 May 08 |  Spain
Pick your Germany XI
23 May 08 |  Germany
Pick your Spain XI
23 May 08 |  Spain


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