So, this month’s festival of football is set to come a conclusion on Sunday evening (don’t worry girls, the Olympics is on soon) when Italy face-off against reigning World and European champions Spain.
Much has been made of the fact that a team has never managed to win three major international tournaments in succession.
On Sunday, Spain have the chance to create history and crown their uniquely talented generation of footballers with another title after the victories in Austria and Switzerland four years ago and South Africa in 2010.
Under the guidance of Luis Aragones and Vicente Del Bosque, the Spanish have been lauded for their technical superiority and brand of possession-based football. A win for Spain was supposedly a win for the beautiful game.
However, Spain’s ethos has come under scrutiny this summer (from a minority, it must be said). It’s too boring, they claim. Pass, pass, pass is no longer the stylistic and sexy way to watch football. Apparently.
On the other side is Italy. A country beset by match fixing allegations – again. A country that has reached the final of a major international tournament in the face of adversity – again.
In 1982 and 2006 Italy thrived under the state of their domestic game. In 2012 it’s the same story.
Coach Cesare Prandelli even offered for his team to pull out of the tournament this time around but the Italians have showed up and reminded everyone of their technical, tactical and mental qualities.
Led by a rejuvenated Andrea Pirlo and ever-maturing Mario Balotelli, the Azzuri have demonstrated their versatility on their way to Kiev having successfully switched between a 3-5-2 and 4-1-2-1-2 formation.
This weekend, the Italians will be underdogs – as they have been throughout – against La Roja who find themselves on the verge of writing a new chapter in football history.
Spain are strong favourites but the question is who do you WANT to win Euro 2012?
Who do you WANT to win Euro 2012?
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