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Fears of the demise of Italy may be quite unfounded after they went toe to toe with Spain in the most entertaining game of the first eight matches.
The Italians, known for their stingy defense, instead looked like the Spanish offensively, exchanging quality chances with a Spanish team known for its creative brilliance.
Italy managed to look this impressive even though controversial star Mario Balotelli looked horrid on the field. Between temper tantrums, foolish yellow cards and refusing to shoot the ball on a breakaway, it was an all-around disaster.
Antonio Di Natale restored order though and scored on a beautiful goal to initially give the Italians the lead.
Why do I rank them above the World Cup champions? Because they were able to overcome Balotelli's antics and still look like a quality team against the world's best.
If they are able to get out of the group stage, I think Italy could easily go on a run similar to 2006, where they kept a low profile and crept up on everyone until they were raising up the World Cup trophy.
While people are talking about Germany, France and the Spanish as favorites, it could be the Azzurri enjoying Euro 2012 glory before all is said and done.