REPORTING FROM WARSAW, POLAND
Manchester United and Danish goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel cannot for the of life of him understand the criticism of Spain as a "boring team".
"I really am impressed that some people can have the imagination to criticise a team that plays so well, that puts technical football ahead of physical football, that gets result after result," said the former national Denmark captain to Yahoo! Singapore on Thursday.
Spain will meet Italy in the final of Euro 2012 on Sunday (Monday morning, Singapore time) after scraping through on penalties against Portugal after a goalless 120 minutes.
With Spain and Italy already having met and drawn 1-1 in the group stage, some are already some are predicting a cautious, tactical slugfest that will not be pleasing to the eye.
While Spain set world alight with their brand of "tiki-taka" football on the way to the 2008 Euros and 2010 World Cup, of late the defending champions have earned a reputation for "passing their opponents to death", such is their suffocating brand of possession one-touch football.
Apart from a 4-0 thrashing of Ireland in the group stage, Spain have hardly set the tournament alight, beating Croatia 1-0 in the final group game before a 2-0 win against France, with Xabi Alonso's injury-time penalty confirming the win.
Undeterred, Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque has also increasingly flirted with a "4-6-0" formation in which the team plays with no recognised striker, preferring a slow, nuanced build-up despite the likes of Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente warming the bench.
But Schmeichel, Carlberg's Euro 2012 global ambassador, said people who criticised Spain did not understand the Beautiful Game.
"I just cannot fathom why people can criticise that. More often than not, they will find a way and score and it's no surprise they are in the final," he said.