The surge in tweets came just weeks before the Olympic Games in London are expected to spur more record-setting activity on social networking sites — from tweets to postings of photos and other user-generated material.
Twitter said it registered a total of 16.5 million tweets worldwide during the soccer match Sunday in Kyiv, where Spain defeated Italy 4-0. It said total global traffic on its platform peaked at 15,358 tweets per second as Spain scored its fourth goal, a record for a sporting event.
"Commentators, fans and athletes around the world supported their teams in song, in face paint and in tweets" throughout the Euro 2012, Twitter said in a blog.
As fans increasingly use social media to connect during major sports competitions, new "tweet per second" records are constantly being set.
Twitter registered a peak of 12,233 tweets per second during the final three minutes of the Super Bowl in February.
An earlier record was set during the final match of the 2011 Women's World Cup, a match in Germany that saw 7,196 tweets per second, including 13 from President Barack Obama. In that game, Japan's team defeated the U.S. on penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw.
Among those who tweeted Sunday was Pele, the retired Brazilian star. He congratulated Spain and said he was looking forward to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.