Thiago's perfect hat-trick secures Euro U-21 triumph for Spain | inside World Soccer

Thiago Alcántara grabbed a coveted perfect hat-trick, scoring with his head, left foot, and right foot, to set Spain on their way to a 4-2 win over Italy in the European U-21 Championship final.

Spain player Thiago poses with the trophy after winning the European U-21 Championship final
Spain player Thiago poses with the trophy after winning the European U-21 Championship final

Photo: Getty Images

The reigning champions were favourites going into Tuesday's final in Jerusalem and went ahead after just six minutes when an unmarked Thiago headed home an Álvaro Morata cross.

Italy responded and, four minutes later, Ciro Immobile equalized with an excellent finish over David de Gea.

The Spaniards regained the lead on the half hour mark as Thiago chested down a Koke cross between Luca Caldirola and Matteo Bianchetti for a left-footed volley that Francesco Bardi got a hand to, but could not keep out.

Then, seven minutes later, Thiago demanded the ball off Isco to complete his treble from the spot after Giulio Donati was harshly penalized for a sliding challenge on Cristian Tello.

Another penalty, this one taken by Isco, put Spain on a home run to the final whistle during which time Fabio Borini reduced the gap for Italy.

"The best feeling possible in a match and in a football tournament is to win the title," Thiago, who was born in Italy, said after the match.

"I think it was really great, to score goals and above all to help the team. We were good right across the pitch and my teammates really helped me get those goals.

"The goal in the last final (against Switzerland in 2011) was completely different from this one, but it's always nice to score in a final."

Teammate Morata, who finished the tournament as top scorer, added: "The truth is Thiago looked like the No 9 out there. I couldn't believe the way he jumped like that (for the opening goal)."


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