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On This Day: Fernando Torres fires Spain to Euro 2008 victory

Sports Mole looks back at Spain's 1-0 win over Germany in the Euro 2008 final.

Six years ago today, Spain ended their 44-year wait for a major title win, defeating Germany 1-0 in the final at Euro 2008.

Then-Liverpool striker Fernando Torres scored the only goal of the match, chipping a pass from Xavi beyond Jens Lehmann to begin Spain's reign of dominance in world football.

Sports Mole looks back at the match in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna.

Spanish forward Fernando Torres holds the Euro 2008 championships trophye after winning the final football match against Germany on June 29, 2008© Getty Images

Heading into the tournament, Spain had won the competition just once before, defeating the Soviet Union in 1964. They had had a chance to add to their trophy cabinet in 1984, but finished as runners-up after losing 2-0 to France.

The Spaniards reached the final unbeaten, defeating Russia, Sweden and defending champions Greece in their group, before knocking Italy out on penalties in the quarter-finals, and defeating Russia again in the last four. Germany had lost to Croatia in their group, but won both of their knockout stage matches to secure their place in the showpiece.

Luis Aragones's side looked the stronger from the start once the action got underway in Austria, with Andres Iniesta and Torres both coming close to opening the scoring inside the first 20 minutes.

Spanish forward Fernando Torres (C) kicks the ball and scores in front of German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann (L) and German defender Philipp Lahm (R) during the Euro 2008 final on June 29, 2008© Getty Images

Having been denied by the bar earlier on, Torres managed to edge Spain in front in the 33rd minute when he got the better of defender Philipp Lahm in a run into the box before lifting the ball over Lehmann.

Germany captain Michael Ballack had a chance to get his side back on level terms early in the second half, but he fired just wide after stealing the ball from Carles Puyol.

Marcos Senna had a chance to make it 2-0 for Spain inside the final 10 minutes but could not keep his effort on target. However, Torres's first-half strike proved to be enough, as Germany were unable to grab a late equaliser, condemning the three-time champions to their third loss in a Euro final.

Fernando Torres (R) of Spain lifts the trophy with team mates after the UEFA EURO 2008 Final match between Germany and Spain at Ernst Happel Stadion on June 29, 2008© Getty Images

As well as getting to lift the trophy, Spain finished the competition with the leading goalscorer after David Villa had netted four times in their earlier games, although he did not play in the final.

The tournament was to be Spain's last under Aragones, with Vicente del Bosque taking over the job in July 2008. The side were able to build on the success of the Euros under Del Bosque, going on to win the World Cup in South Africa two years later, and retaining their European title in 2012.

Since winning the tournament, Spain have remained the top team in the world according to FIFA's rankings. They could be in danger of losing their crown though, having been knocked out in the group stages of the World Cup that is currently taking place in Brazil, with four of the top six sides in the world still in contention.

For the first time since the final, Spain and Germany will play each other later this year when the Euro 2008 winners host Germany in an international friendly at Vigo.

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Spanish midfielder David Silva celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Euro 2008 championships semi-final football match Russia vs. Spain on June 26, 2008
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