Spain & Italy - Quarter Finals Remaining Game

by : Claudia Beckford

The last game of the EURO 2008 quarterfinals on Sunday between Spain and Italy will be one full of contracts as the teams present young talent versus experienced players. The average age of Spain's players is 26.4; basically one of the three teams with the youngest players in the tournament meanwhile there is? the Italian team with an average of 29.14.

Spain; its group leader enters the quarter finals after winning against teams such as: Russia and Greece. Some of the Spaniard players think the odds are in favorite of Italy specially after the 2006 World Cup when the Italian team was not the favorite and they ended up winning the Cup. Another important situation is that Spain has not beat Italy in since 1920 in a major international competition.

"I don't want to know to about the statistics," Italy Coach Roberto Donadoni said. "All I can say is that Spain is in great form. If you don't get a handle on them right away, it risks becoming very complicated. We know what they bring to the table."

The Italian Coach - Donadoni - also mentioned the game between Turkey and Croatia which ended in penalties kicks which could be a good lesson for the teams involved as they should never lose their focus in order to avoid missing a next round pass if they do not accomplish any goals during the regular game time. Donadoni has been through difficult times during this tournament but he is aware his players are in good shape in the case they are required to throw penalties.

On the other hand; Spain has a 19-match unbeaten streak but in major tournaments Spain has failed to overcome the quarterfinals. For example; the 2006 World Cup during which after three victories they were sent back home by the French a hard to swallow true.??

"We believe we're in the right moment to face such a great team as Italy," Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso said. "We respect them a lot but we have confidence in ourselves. We are in a winning mood ... and we want to continue on that track."

On Sunday the game will take place at the Ernst Happel Stadium; this will be the first official meeting between these well known teams since the 1994 World Cup a most remembered time when Baggio's late goal pushed Italy into the semifinals.

Spaniard Coach Luis Aragones stated the Italians are better defending than attacking and this could eventually become an advantage for the Spain. Another important fact is that Italy will not count with three key players among them Pirlo and Cannavaro.

Some of the Italian players that have managed to score some goals during the tournament are: defender Christian Panucci who scored against Romania, while Pirlo and fellow midfielder Daniele De Rossi scored against France.Nevertheless; it is only a matter of time in order to learn which will be Russia's rival in the semifinals.