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After emerging victorious against Italy in the final of the European Championship, the defending champions have been lauded back at home

King Juan Carlos of Spain has applauded the success of La Roja after they triumphed against Italy in the final of Euro 2012 on Sunday.

The 74-year-old commended the defending champions on their historic win, which saw them become the first team in history to win three back-to-back international tournaments.

"It is not easy to talk to champions. You have given great joy to all the Spanish people because you behaved like a team," King Juan Carlos told TVE.

He also took time to commend the job that Vicente del Bosque has done as Spain coach as he became the first manager in history to win the World Cup, the European Championship and the Champions League.

"Vicente del Bosque has done a superb job, knowing how to manage many things and here is the result.

"We hope that we continue with this run, although we know that, in sport, you go up and then, go down. "I give my congratulations."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed his admiration for the team's achievement and wanted to convey his appreciation for what the feat meant, hailing it as a boost for the entire nation.

"I'm prepared to make a huge and well deserved tribute to the players of the Spanish national team," he told reporters

"I had the opportunity to be with them twice in the championship, against Italy.

"We are very happy and very proud of our team, for the football they showed. I want to say thank you to all of them."

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