Vincente Del Bosque has urged his Spain players to pay no attention to their past meetings with Italy as they prepare to bring the curtain down on Euro 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
The reigning champions are 90 minutes away from becoming the first team to defend the trophy in its 52-year history but will have to overcome the Azzurri who they’ve failed to beat in a competitive game since their first-ever meeting in the 1920 Olympic Games.
The Iberian outfit could become the first team to win three international tournaments on the spin should they triumph in the final but Del Bosque believes that the similarities in playing style between his side and the Italians make them an extremely dangerous proposition.
He said in his pre-match press conference: “We’ve worked very hard for many years and we’d like victory to crown that work. We cannot look back. Italy have won the World Cup four times; we won EURO four years ago. There’s some history but we have to look to the present.”
“We’ve played similar tournaments: we were in the same group and have both won on penalties. Our style of play is also very similar so there’s not a great difference between the teams.”
It promises to be a classic and the end to what has been an absorbing tournament.
Elsewhere in the news Roy Hodgson insists that England’s technique must improve; Sigurdsson to decide his future in the next 24hrs, while Steven Gerrard has come out in defence of Wayne Rooney.
Michel Platini has suggested the Euros may well be hosted in multiple countries in 2020 – [Guardian]
Cesare Prandelli has praised the ever improving attitude of Mario Balotelli – [Guardian]
Xavi has dismissed suggestions that Spain would have ever considered having a pact with Croatia in order to eliminate Italy earlier in the tournament – [Guardian]
Roy Hodgson has claimed that the technique of English players will need to improve if they are to succeed on the world stage – [Daily Telegraph]
Andre Villas-Boas is expected to be announced as Tottenham manager this week in a three year deal – [Daily Telegraph]
Manchester City have told Mancini that he must sell first, if he wants to make a bid for Robin van Persie – [Mirror]
Gylfi Sigurdsson will decide whether he signs for Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur today, according to his father – [Independent]
Steven Gerrard has come out in defence of Wayne Rooney for his performance at the Euros – [Daily Mail]
Ryan Giggs is disappointed that David Beckham won’t be playing alongside him at the Olympics – [Daily Mail]
Jack Wilshere will miss the start of the season for Arsenal, as well as England’s two opening World Cup qualifying games – [Mirror]
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