The final of any major contest, especially international sport events, helps us mark phases and stages of life. Enjoy the final, rejoice with the champions or suffer the anguish of the vanquished. But then - just as suddenly - it is time to begin, again.
Tempting but false to say this Spanish side have come to embody an aesthetic in any ideal sense. The idea of nationhood should not distort the trends and traditions woven together in their singular tapestry of tiki taka.
Catennaccio has locked out opposition attacks, while it has kept a country from playing in a way that better reflects its soil and sky. Triumph today for the Azzurri would reveal a stylistic turn toward the flamboyent, proud with strength and audacity.
What we hope for from both today is the daring to attack. Boredom is the enemy.