The finals for the 2012 Euro are here and the final two teams are of little surprise to the soccer world. The reigning World Cup and Euro champions Spain have found themselves in a familiar spot, vying for one of games biggest trophies. They won Group C by going 2-0-1, with the one draw coming against 2nd place finisher and Finals opponent Italy.
Spain has made it this far with their standard staunch defense and timely goal scoring. Net minder Iker Casillas has given up 1 game-play goal, against Italy in a 1-1 draw in their first tourney match. Their balanced scoring attack has 3 men with 2 goals (Fabergas, Torres, Alonso) and has an overall scoring advantage of 8-1. Their semi-finals victory over Portugal was decided in penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw during game play. The Spanish played the game they wanted too and the result may have boring game on the pitch but a victory is their goal, not amusement for the spectators! The game provided 9 cards to only 7 shots on target (5-Spain 2-Portugal) and the offensive Ronaldo was stifled throughout.
Italy on the other hand has made it to the final match by some good luck, some Italian flare, and the standard English let down. The team finished their group stage 2nd behind the Spaniards by going 1-0-2. They have out scored their opponents 6-3 during game play. The Italians battled successfully though the 2000’s as being described as old and slow, yet this team are a great mix of youth and veterans. The brash 21 yr old striker Mario Balotelli leads the offensive attack. The goal keeper is 34 yr old Gianluigi Buffon, a rugged and savvy veteran who has been first team goalie since 2000. Historians of the game were not surprised by their victory during the shootout against England, but really the way the English blew their lead was astonishing. The Azzurri victory over Das Germans was expected by the history of the rivalry, 8 victories in a row in major championships, but the outcome was still astonishing. Balotelli scored 2 goals in the 2-1 victory which was dominated by the Italians.
This match-up will test both sides. The Spanish will be tested on the back side as Balotelli will force the action and the Man City striker will be hard to deny. The Italians will have to contend with the precision and control that Spain will bring to the pitch. Both teams have made it this far by playing their style but something will have to break. The defending champion will be content drawing to a shootout, while the Azzurri would love to score early to press the often robotic movement of their opponents. The game will be seen by over 250 million people worldwide and should provide the excitement that the fans deserve. I expect the sides to try and push their style of play but the Spanish superior defense should be enough to hold back the Italians for a 2-1 victory. Yet, I would not be surprised if the spicy Italians pull out the victory. Tune in today at 2:30 to see who is the best in European football.
Category: Pro Sports