'No one can beat this Spanish machine' - Maradona hails La Roja after Euro 2012 victory

The controversial figure lauded the newly-crowned champions for winning three consecutive major tournament titles before underlining his other highlights from the competition

Argentina legend Diego Maradona believes Spain have made a solid case for being the best football team in history.

Vicente del Bosque’s men swept Italy aside 4-0 in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final to lift their third successive major tournament trophy - the first time a country has achieved such a feat.

And Maradona, who currently manages Dubai club Al Wasl, believes La Roja were deserved champions after a dominating display in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

In his column in the Times of India, Maradona wrote: “[Spain] demonstrated clearly that they are not only the best team in the world but also that they might well be the best team ever to play football.

“No one player can defeat this Spanish machine. Cristiano Ronaldo tried with Portugal, and the Spanish put a muzzle on him.

“[Andrea] Pirlo tried and the Spanish crowded him with four players sometimes.”

Spain continued their incredible defensive record in the knockout stages of recent major tournaments, having still not conceded past the group stages since the 2006 World Cup.

“The Spanish team scored 12 goals and allowed only one in this European championship,” Maradona elaborated.

“Their defence of captain Iker Casillas in goal, Alvaro Arbeloa, Gerard Pique, and Sergio Ramos is the best in the world.

“Jordi Alba on the left, showed why Barcelona just spent €14 million for him, scoring a spectacular goal, slicing the Italian defence after a 60-yard dash.”

Andres Iniesta won the Player of the Tournament award and Maradona lauded the Barcelona man and the incredible array of talent within Del Bosque’s team.

He continued: “The outstanding Spanish generation of Xavi, Sergei Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, and David Silva are individual stars that work in a machine.

“You stop one, the other five are still there, they press, create, and even finish.

“Spain have revolutionised football as we know it, playing with no strikers, and using a talented player like [Cesc] Fabregas to open spaces for the incoming midfielders.

“Even Fernando Torres seemed to have regained his confidence as he came in towards the end of the game to score one goal and set up another.”

Maradona was often considered the stand-out player for Argentina during his international career and recognised that individuals other than La Roja’s were able to shine in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

“Some of the pearls of this tournament came from individuals champions,” Maradona added.

“Andrea Pirlo led Italy to the finals with one brilliant pass after another and was one of the best players of the tournament, until the Spanish ganged up on him.

“Ronaldo showed why, with [Lionel] Messi, he is considered the best player on the planet as he scored two priceless goals versus the Czechs.

“[Zlatan] Ibrahimovic probably scored the goal of the tournament with a magnificent half volley against France.”