The European Championship is coming to the finish line. Four teams continue to fight for medals. They have gathered in London, where two semi-finals and a final will be held next week. So let’s start with an absolute Euro classic — on July 6, Italy will play with Spain.
Since the 2008 European Championship, the paths of the parties have always crossed. However, in 2012, they played twice at the group stage and in the final. In total, Italy and Spain have fought four times in the last three European championships — a draw in 2008 (Spain won on penalties), 1:1 and 4:0 in favour of the Spaniards in 2012, as well as 2:0 in favour of Italy in the 1/8 finals of Euro 2016.
It is especially worth noting that both teams are currently going to the super series, one of which will probably be interrupted next Tuesday. Spain has not lost 13 matches to date, while the last defeat to Italy happened back in 2018–32 games ago. Fantasy.
The wards of Roberto Mancini updated the national record for a winless series at the end of the 1/8 finals of Euro 2020, but it remains not to lose three times before the world (35 matches). The national teams of Brazil (1993–1996) and Spain (2007–2009) did not lose 35 games each. Everything is very close.
The Italians certainly look more solid. Mancini’s wards went through the opponents in the group with a skating rink, after which they beat the teams of Austria and Belgium. As for Spain, they were only the second in their quartet. And we spent a very long time in the playoffs, winning twice on a thin one.
Only in the extra halves, we squeezed Croatia (and after all, with the score of 3:3, Unai Simon made a save) and only in the penalty shootout we beat Switzerland. And even there, the 11-meter ones were not performed in the best way. It’s just that the opponent beat even worse, and the same Simon dragged him at the right moment.
The wards of Luis Enrique played twice in overtime, which can not but affect their physical readiness. Italy also had extra time, but the match with Belgium showed that the additional load did not mainly concern them. Anyway, it will be very, very difficult for the Spaniards.
For example, the confrontation between Alvaro Morata, who has already become a meme, and the almost impenetrable Gianluigi Donnarumma. A problematic goalkeeper at Euro 2020 helps out a lot and with taste. It’s hard to believe that the Juventus forward will show a decent game against one of the best defences in the world.
Previously, Leonardo Spinazzola had a significant influence on the game of the Italian national team. Unfortunately, in the quarterfinals with Belgium, the extreme defender was seriously injured. Will Chelsea reserve player Emerson be able to replace him qualitatively? This is a big question, the answer to which directly affects the chances of passing.
However, the Spanish national team also has losses. The participation of Pablo Sarabia, who would have played on the flank of Spinazzola, is questionable. In fairness, this loss is not so significant. In the eyes of most fans, Italy is the favourite not only for the upcoming match but also for the entire Euro as a whole.
This is logical, given the precise structure and relaxed interaction of the players. Moreover, it seems that there is no reason to go against this statement: in the match Italy — Spain, it is “Squadra Azzurra” that has a much greater chance of success.