In one of Wednesday’s headlining international friendlies, Spain takes on Italy at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid. Speaking to the Italian press ahead of the midweek clash, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque admitted that Italy has always proved a tricky opponent for his squad, which faced Cesare Prandelli’s Italy twice at Euro 2012, including in the final, and then again in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal.
“They are an opponent who has always been able to push the right buttons in order to complicate our lives, especially with regards to our defense,” the former Real Madrid boss told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “They have always been able to find ideas that have created problems, which fortunately we have always managed to overcome.”
Spain drew its first game of Euro 2012 with Italy, 1-1, before beating the Azzurri 4-0 in the competition’s final. Del Bosque’s men then won 7-6 on penalties a year later in the Confederations Cup semifinal after drawing 0-0 after overtime.
“At the start of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, it was not that [Antonio] Di Natale’s goal was the only one we conceded, Italy gave us a very tough time,” Del Bosque said. “I consider the final against Italy as the best game of my administration, I do not forget that Italy had several problems - fatigue, injury [to Giorgio] Chiellini and [Thiago] Motta…Then there was the complicated challenge in Brazil [in the Confederations Cup semifinal], with additional major problems that Italy caused us, they dominated much of the game.”