A Thiago Alcantara hat-trick saw Spain win the 2013 UEFA Under 21 European Championship after beating Italy 4-2 in the final at the Teddi Maicha arena in Israel on Tuesday night.
The young Spaniards came out firing and took the lead as early as the sixth minute after Alvaro Morata skipped past Alessandro Florenzi on the left, before providing a pin-point cross to pick out Alcantara, and the captain made no mistake with a powerful header to give his side the lead, 1-0.
Italy, though, were not to be outdone and quickly hit back four minutes later as Ciro Immobile levelled matters after superbly controlling a ball over the top of the Spanish defence and then proceeded to loop an onrushing David de Gea, 1-1.
Thereafter, however, Spain took the game away from the young Italians as they dominated the midfield battle and dictated terms.
It was only a matter of time before Spain took the lead again and Alcantara provided it with his second goal of the match in the 31st minute. The captain controlled the ball on his chest before powerfully firing it home, 2-1.
Alcantara then completed his hat-trick seven minutes later after he coolly converted from the penalty spot, 3-1.
The second 45 saw Spain continue where they left off and they put the result beyond doubt in the 66th minute after Isco converted their second penalty of the match, 4-1.
Italy tried to fight back, but their defeat was inevitable.
The Italians did manage to find a consolation goal in the 80th minute via Fabio Borini, but it was not enough to stop Spain being crowned the 2013 UEFA U21 European Champions.