Spain Vs Italy: Match Facts
Italy stunned the Germans in the semi-final with a brace from Balotelli and a resolute defensive display which secured them a famous final with Spain on Sunday. Here are some interesting facts concerning the two finalists.
- It will be the fourth time a Euro final takes place between teams who met earlier in the tournament. It happened in 1988 (Netherlands-USSR), 1996 (Germany-Czech Republic) & 2004 (Greece-Portugal).
- Italy and Spain are facing each other for the 31st time in their history. The Italians hold the advantage with 10 wins to Spain’s eight. 12 draws complete the picture.
- Spain are the second European side to reach the final of three consecutive major tournaments, after West Germany (Euro 72, World Cup 74, Euro 76).
- Spain haven’t conceded a single goal in their last 900 minutes of action in major tournament knockout games, a streak which started in the quarter finals of Euro 2008.
- Italy are unbeaten against Spain at major tournaments (penalties shoot-outs excluded), with three wins and four draws. Nevertheless, Spain managed to qualify in their last encounter in knockout games, it was at the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 (0-0 after 120 mins, 4-2 after penalties).
- Cesare Prandelli has faced Spain twice as Italy head-coach and has never lost. Italy beat them in a friendly in August 2011 (2-1) before drawing in their opening game of Euro 2012 (1-1).
- Spain have won 75% of their finals at major tournaments (three out of four), the best ratio for European sides who have played more than one final alongside France.
- Italy are the only side who have never trailed at any time during Euro 2012.
- Italy and Spain have had the most shots at Euro 2012: 99 and 86 respectively.
- Spain have the best defensive record at Euro 2012 with only one goal conceded. In their last two games combined (quarter-final v France & semi-final v Portugal), Spain have only faced one shot on target.
- Italy have reached their ninth final at major tournaments (three at European Championships, six at the World Cup). They’ve won 63%.
- Five Spanish players (Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos) have completed more passes than Italy’s most prolific player in that department, Andrea Pirlo (320 passes).
- Mario Balotelli scored as many goals against Germany in the semi-finals as he did in his 12 previous caps for Italy. He’s scored Italy’s last three goals at Euro 2012.
- Balotelli has had the most shots on target at Euro 2012: 10.
- Balotelli has become the first Italian player to score three goals in a European Championships tournament.
- Gianluigi Buffon has played 24 matches at major tournaments, equalling Dino Zoff’s Italian record. He’s still four short of the record holder among goalkeepers, Spain’s Iker Casillas (28).
- Andres Iniesta is the player who’s had the most shots on target without scoring at the European Championships, since 1980: 11 shots on target, 0 goals.
- Cesc Fabregas and Santiago Cazorla are the most used substitutes in the history of the European Championships (alongside Holland’s Aron Winter), having been brought on seven times.
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