July 24, 2021

European semi-final, Italy-Spain is a classic: fourth consecutive edition in which they face each other

A constant of the European Championships from 2008 onwards, but only a blue success in the last 8 games

Italy-Spain: here we go again. A semi-final full of history, adrenaline, talent is staged at the European Championships. A challenge that will have Wembley as its theater and that will determine who will reach the final: will it be the beautiful and electrifying national team of Roberto Mancini, or the talented and young (but somewhat discontinuous) one of Luis Enrique? The blues come from Lukaku’s heady success against Belgium, Roja got away with penalties against Switzerland: kick-off on Tuesday evening at 9 pm. Here a piece of history is made.

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With the exception of overtime against Austria, Italy’s progress so far has been impressive. The group stage wins against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales were the first comforting signs, but the well-deserved success against Belgium throws the Azzurri into another dimension: a clear message to sailors. Spain, on the other hand, only shone in parts: draws against Sweden and Poland in the group stage, before those against Croatia and Switzerland in the round of 16 and quarter-finals. Only a victory in the 90 ‘for the Red Furies, against Slovakia in the last round of the group: net 5-0.

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Wembley will be yet another chapter in an endless rivalry. Considering all the competitions, including friendlies, there were 37 total matches between these two national teams. And there is great balance: thirteen wins for Spain, as many draws and eleven wins for Italy. The last two matches were played in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, before the blue flop against Sweden: 1-1 in Italy and 3-0 for Roja in Spain. This challenge is becoming a constant in the European Championships: it is the fourth consecutive edition in which Italy and Spain meet. In 2008 the Azzurri went out in the quarter-finals; in 2012 there was the comparison in the groups and the final, won by Roja; in 2016 Conte’s Italy won in the round of 16, 2-0 with Chiellini and Pellè. In what remains the only blue victory in the last eight matches with Spain.

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