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Euro 2012 FINAL - Italy vs Spain

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EURO 2012: FINAL

spain+vs+italy+euro2012.jpg

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Kiev

Date: Sunday, 1 July

Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC One HD and full coverage on BBC Radio 5live

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque must decide whether to stick with Alvaro Negredo after the striker started the semi-final win over Portugal.

Cesc Fabregas is favourite to start if Del Bosque opts against selecting an out-and-out forward.

Italy's Ignazio Abate should be fit after missing the semi-final against Germany with a hamstring injury.

Strike duo Antonio Cassano (twisted knee) and Mario Balotelli (cramp in the semi-final) are both expected to start.

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi completed 90 minutes against Germany, and appears to have fully recovered from a sciatic nerve problem.

With Abate missing against Germany, Federico Balzaretti shifted from left-back to right-back. If Balzaretti returns to his regular position, Giorgio Chiellini would move inside to centre-back, with Leonardo Bonucci dropping to the bench.

Napoli wing-back Christian Maggio is back from suspension but is likely to be named on the bench.

MATCH PREVIEW

"Shameful Italy… One of our ugliest national teams ever… the end of a generation and an illusion... we were champions of the world and now are the laughing stock of the world."

The Azzurri's exit to Slovakia at the 2010 World Cup was, Italian newspapers agreed, their biggest humiliation since losing to North Korea at the 1966 tournament.

On that occasion the squad were pelted with rotten tomatoes when they returned home, but just two years later they were crowned European champions. Could history repeat itself on Sunday or will reigning world and European champions Spain break new ground by clinching a third consecutive major title?

Transformed under the refreshing tutelage of Cesare Prandelli, Italy have generated real momentum as they go to Kiev in search of their sixth major title.

In previous rounds the Azzurri took heart from their track record against England and Germany, and it is a similar story against their Mediterranean neighbours. The Spanish did beat them on penalties at Euro 2008, but, excluding shoot-outs, you have to go back to the 1920 Olympics to find Spain's only competitive victory in this fixture; irrelevant ancient history or enough to sow seeds of doubt?

Germany's Miroslav Klose admitted on Thursday "perhaps the fact that we had never beaten Italy was in the back of our minds."

It's a sign of how things have changed that free-scoring Germany are admitting to mental frailties while Spain continue to grind out results relentlessly. The semi-final win against Portugal may not have been their greatest display, but it certainly leaves Vicente del Bosque's side on the verge of greatness. A hat-trick of titles would be unprecedented in the modern era; the strongest competing claim actually belongs to Italy, who won the 1934 and 1938 World Cups, plus Olympic gold in Berlin in 1936.

West Germany are the only other side to reach three successive World Cup or European Championship finals, winning the first two before losing to Antonin Panenka's chipped penalty for Czechoslovakia in 1976.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • The only other European Championship meetings were group games in 1980 (a 0-0 draw in Milan), 1988 (a 1-0 win for Italy, courtesy of Gianluca Vialli) and the 1-1 draw earlier at Euro 2012.
  • Seven of the last 10 matches between Spain and Italy have been 0-0 at half-time.
  • This will be the fourth time that the European Championship final has provided a rematch of a group match. Greece won both encounters against Portugal in 2004, as did Germany versus the Czech Republic in 1996. The Dutch lost to the USSR in the opening game in 1988 but took revenge with victory in the final.

Spain

  • Spain are unbeaten in 11 European Championship finals matches, a new record. Their last loss in the competition was the 1-0 reverse to Portugal at Euro 2004.
  • They have kept nine consecutive clean sheets in knockout games at major tournaments.
  • Iker Casillas has had to deal with just one shot on target in Spain's two knockout games at Euro 2012 - that was a free-kick from France's Yohan Cabaye. In total, the Spanish captain has made 12 saves so far - six of them against Italy in the opening game.
  • Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla could both make their eighth European Championship appearance as a substitute, which would be a new record.
  • The last time Spain failed to win a match after opening the scoring was on 6 September 2006, when they lost 3-2 away to Northern Ireland in a Euro 2008 qualifier despite Xavi netting first.
  • Vicente Del Bosque could become only the second coach to win the World Cup and European Championship, after West Germany's Helmut Schön in 1972 and 1974

Italy

  • The Azzurri have reached the final of eight World Cups or European Championships.
  • Italy won their only European Championship in 1968, winning a final replay 2-0 against Yugoslavia at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. The first match, held two days earlier, ended 1-1.
  • The Azzurri also reached the final of Euro 2000, losing 2-1 to France, for whom David Trezeguet scored a golden goal.
  • Cesare Prandelli's men have won only two of their last eight games (excluding shoot-outs).
  • The Italians have been involved in eight goalless draws at European Championship finals - more than any other side.
  • Uefa statistics show Italy have attempted 97 shots (including blocked efforts), more than any other side at Euro 2012.

Penalties:

  • Spain have won four of seven penalty shoot-outs, including three of their last four.
  • Italy's overall record is three wins from eight shoot-outs. They lost their first four but have won three of the subsequent four (beating Netherlands in 2000, France in 2006 and England in 2010, but losing to Spain in 2008).
  • There have been 37 shoot-outs at European Championships or World Cups, with 361 spot-kicks taken, 270 of them successful (a 74.8% conversion rate).
  • Historically, shoot-outs involve an average of 10 kicks (9.8) - however, recent contests have been briefer. Only one of the last 10 at World Cups and European Championships has seen at least 10 penalties taken.

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lol northern mug beat me by 30 seconds

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:Y:
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Pirlo >

I hope he manages to make the World cup but it might be too much for him

Pirlo hasn't lost a game since 2010 :lol:

Italy have some beastly midfield full of technique and players that can do it all (tackle, pass, shoot etc)

However,

They are described as boring but the Spanish are just f*cked. Busquets first time passing >

Silva's assist in the first game >

Match is set up to be sick. The first time they played was arguably the best match of the tournament.

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yeah the first game was easily the best game in terms of football

just didnt mean anything because it was opening group game

got big hopes for this game

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Please be a classic final tonight, it has all the makings to be one.

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VDB says he will start with a front three :lol:

(I would like to see Pedro start just like in the WC Final two years ago)

Will Prandelli go back to the 3-5-2 or keep the diamond? .

Midfield is going to be overloaded.

If Pirlo dominates this final we can safely say he is the most influential footballer since Zidane.

If Balo is clinical like he was against Germany then Italy will be European Champions.

Balo has had a very good tournament so far (such a great outlet for Italy and Pirlo) Forget the Group games they don't matter but the games against England and Germany.

The dilemma for Prandelli is the fact both Right backs are avaliable for selection and Motta is fully fit.

Seriously someone needs to score past Iker FFS (Zidane remains the last player to do so when it matters)

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putting money on Italy and balo to score first

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Spain have got this, upheld that opinion from the start.

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Span have took the piss this tournament.

They haven't been out of reverse gear and still coasted into the final.

You get the feeling they have took every game for a training session to save themselves for an all out attack in the final.

Every player will run 10-15 mph quicker

Every player will completed 3-4m further

Every player will touch the ball 20-30% more

Every player will complete 10% more passes

From the get go Spain are going to hunt, hound, press, burst their lungs, shoot, think greater, think faster, think of creating something we've never seen before.

They have got here in 120% condition, Italy have got here in about 80% condition.

SPAIN 5-0 ITALY

Tonight we will witness the most dominant final in European history

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Span have took the piss this tournament.

They haven't been out of reverse gear and still coasted into the final.

You get the feeling they have took every game for a training session to save themselves for an all out attack in the final.

Every player will run 10-15 mph quicker

Every player will completed 3-4m further

Every player will touch the ball 20-30% more

Every player will complete 10% more passes

From the get go Spain are going to hunt, hound, press, burst their lungs, shoot, think greater, think faster, think of creating something we've never seen before.

They have got here in 120% condition, Italy have got here in about 80% condition.

SPAIN 5-0 ITALY

Tonight we will witness the most dominant final in European history

I c/s what u said thats why they really needed to die in the semi's they are even worse than arsenal with play

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hope italy batter spain

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can see goals before any extra time, hope Italy stay true and play like usual

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wanted Italy to win but this bandwagon of spain being boring and not playing any strikers means

i want them to win 4-0 now

shut everyone up

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Italy XI: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Pirlo, Marchisio, De Rossi, Montolivo; Cassano, Balotelli.

Spain XI: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Xabi Alonso; Iniesta, Silva, Fábregas

Takes a brave man to drop a guy who was arguably the best defender on the night from the semis

Spain pick the same side that got the 1-1 draw

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VDB what a tr0ll :lol:

BBC for Coverage

ITV for Commentary

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Wasn't ITV the one with the guy who kept calling Silva, David Villa?

Said he was injured and couldn't make the EURO's then continued to call Silva, Villa :lol:

Then he said Cassano scored against Spain?

BBC however?

Imagine Bright or Keown making the final

faack

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Prandelli gone with the diamond yeah (why change a winning shape)

Althoe the 3 at the back worked well against spain

Full backs spot on, Barzagli unfortunate to miss out N Montolivio stays in :)

Need a big 60 mins from Cassano

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loool boiii, bbc it is for me den

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VDB what a tr0ll :lol:

BBC for Coverage

ITV for Commentary

nah need that lawro laugh

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So basically Real Madrid/Barcelona v Juventus/Milan with a Manchester City player on each side

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lool gary is the guy :lmao:

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