Spain's Alvaro Arbeloa (C) holds up the trophy next to his team mates after defeating Italy to win the Euro 2012 final soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Kiev July 1, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)
England's Scott Parker (R) tries to tackle Italy's Andrea Pirlo (L) during their Euro 2012 quarter-final soccer match at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, June 24, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
According to UEFA.com, Spain's defender Sergio Ramos has won the Castrol Edge Index, and Andres Iniesta was named player of the tournament.
But who were the best players in the tournament? Here are the best 10 Players of the Euro Cup 2012.
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Cesc Fabregas- Spain
When David Villa went down with injury, Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque was forced to find a new formation for Spain's offense. One of his most imaginative was what became known as the "false nine" in which Cesc Fabregas was thrown in as a false striker. The plan worked marvelously throughout.
Fabregas easily had the best tournament of any Spanish forward, especially considering the minimal amount of time he had to work with. His highlights were setting up the game wining goal against Croatia, the penalty winner against Portgual, and the assist on the first goal against Italy in the final match.
Andres Iniesta- Spain
Spain's midfielder only registered one assist in the entire tournament and was held scoreless, but Iniesta was easily Spain's most noticeable player game in and game out. He was relentless in his aggressive play and had numerous quality opportunities to put the ball in the net.
His biggest highlights were the assist on the game-winning goal against Croatia, the pass to Fabregas that led to the first goal against Italy in the final, and the golden chance that should have been a goal if not for Rui Patrizio's marvelous save for Portugal.
Andrea Pirlo- Italy
Pirlo quietly had an MVP like performance with his pinpoint passing and creativity in exploiting opponents' defenses. He was the brains behind the operations and helped Italy evolve throughout the tournament. Unfortunately, his fortunes took a dip as the Spanish side corralled him in the midfield and gave him no space with which to operate.
His defining moments were the assist to Di Natale against Spain in the opening match, his gorgeous goal against Croatia, the gorgeous penalty shot against England, and the dominant performance in which he out did Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil on route to Italy's 2-1 conquest of Germany.
Iker Casillas- Spain
Yet another Spaniard, but likely not the one most expected. "Saint Iker" only gave up one goal in the entire tournament en route to getting his 100th victory in a Spanish uniform (the only person to ever reach the feat) and lifting his third major international trophy in the last four years.
His big moments included his game-winning save in the match against Croatia and his plethora of saves against the Italian army in the first half and early second of the final match. Perhaps his best moment came on a Di Natale shot feet away from the net.
Cristiano Ronaldo- Portugal
Ronaldo had a hard start to the tournament with two questionable performances against Denmark and Germany but answered with redefining performances against Netherlands and the Czech Republic. He carried his team all the way to the semi-finals before losing to Spain. He play well against Spain, but flubbed all of his chances and did not even get an opportunity with the game on the line in the penalties.
However, Ronaldo's play in the latter half of his tournament finally displayed his ability to take over the international stage.
Sergio Ramos- Spain
If he is going to win the MVP for the tournament, then it certainly is a well-deserved win. He certainly did not have the flashiest of tournaments, but there is no denying that he was at the core of Spain's defense of their championship. He was generally matched up against other teams' best player and played up to the challenge constantly. He made no noticeable mistakes and made several solid plays.
His highlights would be his play against Ronaldo in the semi-final, where the superstar was given little room with which to operate. His play on Mario Balotelli in the final was equally impressive. His game-winning penalty against Portugal was risky, but defined his confidence and high level of play.
Mario Balotelli- Italy
Balotelli disappointed early on in the tournament with his apparent lack of confidence, but he was clearly one of the reasons for Italy's marked improvement throughout the tournament. As Balotelli went, so went Italy. His play against England was at times cringe-worthy, but he created chances from virtually nothing and made the Italian offense buzz throughout the match. Then against Germany he turned on the jets and took over the match with two goals and a plethora of opportunities. At just 21 years of age, Balotelli proved to be the real deal in the tournament.
Mesut Ozil- Germany
Ozil hit a dead end against Italy and looked terrible with imprecise passing and erratic play. However, there is no denying his play in earlier stages of the tournament and in particular his virtuosic display against Greece in the quarter finals. His play earned him two man of the match awards and his command of the German midfield enabled the Germans to build and create their aggressive attack. At just 23, Ozil still has his best years ahead of him.
As evidenced in the 2010 World Cup, no Buffon means no success for Italy. The keeper only allowed three goals in five matches before the nightmare final game for his squad. In all reality he could do nothing on any of the Spanish goals as his team failed him time and again.
However prior to that, he was heroic; stopping a Marco Reus blast that was destined to go in for Germany; shutting down England in the penalty kicks; and making great plays against Spain in the opening match. Buffon is a legendary keeper and he certainly showed his skill in this tournament.
Jordi Alba- Spain
The Spanish defender came in with the absence of Carles Puyol and more than filled that role. He was steady in the back, barely made any mistakes and even had his fun with a goal against Italy in the final and a wonderful assist in the semi-final against France. At 23, he will be a staple on this Spanish roster for years to come.