In his column in the latest edition of UEFA•direct, UEFA President Michel Platini looks back at UEFA EURO 2012 – a great celebration of European football.
First of all, congratulations to Spain and the Spanish Football Federation. Winning a third successive major title in Kyiv was an unprecedented feat, and one which made this final tournament in Poland and Ukraine even more of a historic event.
Congratulations also to Italy, valiant finalists, and a big thank you to everyone else who contributed to the success of this brilliant EURO 2012: the players and their coaches, who played attacking football and demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship; the referees, who fulfilled their role successfully, without ever influencing the result of a match; the spectators in the stands and supporters in the fan zones, whose passion brought the stadiums alive and lit up the streets of the host cities, creating a fun, friendly atmosphere.
Congratulations and thanks also, of course, to the hosts, Poland and Ukraine, who rose to the daunting challenge and provided everything required to make this tournament a success – something some had considered almost impossible. Thanks also to everyone working behind the scenes, in particular the volunteers, for whom I hope EURO 2012 was an unforgettable experience.
European football can be proud of the image it presented throughout this tournament: excellent matches, high technical standards and magnificent stadiums filled with spectators in high spirits. The Republic of Ireland fans, in particular, were exemplary and their support of their team unfailing, even in defeat.
Thanks to indisputably high-quality television broadcasts, the whole world was able to enjoy this great celebration of European football which, once again, highlighted the incredible force of national team football. EURO 2012 was the best possible advertisement for the national team game and its success was in large part thanks to the spirit of openness on which the tournament was built.