Let’s also pay tribute to the organisers and to the referees, who looked after the finals brilliantly.
I hate to admit it, but I’m quite glad England didn’t qualify. Even if they had done so, I can’t see that they would have made a huge impression, even though individually the players can give any opposition a run for its money.
Yet could they play as collectively as well as that young Spanish side? I think not. And I doubt that I’ll ever see an England team win any other cup in the course of my lifetime, for you can’t win a European Championship solely by having one or two players who can thump the ball in the back of the net from set pieces.
As well as enjoying the matches, I enjoyed John Motson’s final commentary, listening, as usual, for some of the ‘Mottyisms’ which have endeared him so much to the British public.
It’s an odd fact that we British tend to like ‘characters’ like Murray Walker and Motty for their ability to fracture so completely the English language. Anyway, here are a few choice Mottyisms I can remember or have been reminded of over the years:
• For those watching in black and white, Spurs are playing in the yellow strip.
• Nearly all the Brazilian supporters are wearing yellow shirts. It’s a fabulous kaleidoscope of colour.
• None of the players is wearing earrings. Jakob Kjeldberg with his contact lenses is the closest we can get.
• Jan Koller shares a hairstyle with Jaap Stam, although, of course, neither has any hair.
• And finally: Bruce has got the taste of Wembley in his nostrils.
We’ll miss you, Motty.