World Football logoWorld Football

Spain vs. Italy Start Time: What to Watch for in Sunday's Euro 2012 Final

WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 28:  Mario Balotelli of Italy controls the ball as he runs through to score his team's second goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Germany and Italy at the National Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 29, 2012

Sunday's Euro 2012 final will feature the last two World Cup winners and two of the best squads in international football clashing for the right to be named champions of Europe for the next four years.

Neither Spain or Italy have lost in Euro 2012, and both teams have already met in their Group C open, which resulted in a 1-1 draw. 

The two evenly matched sides will square off this weekend in a must-see championship showdown in Kiev, Ukraine.

Here is what you should be watching for:


When: Sunday, July 1, 2:45 PM ET

Where: Kiev Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine

Watch: ESPN

Live Streaming:


Mario Balotelli

WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 28:  Mario Balotelli of Italy celebrates scoring the opening goal past Manuel Neuer of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Germany and Italy at the National Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo b
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

The hit-or-miss 21-year-old striker was absolutely on fire against Germany on Thursday, scoring twice in the first half of Italy's semifinal win over the tournament favorite. Mario Balotelli showed why he is worth the head-scratching moments, putting on a world-class finishing clinic against the Germans, netting two goals in a stretch of 16 minutes.

Balotelli only created three shots against Germany, though, which is surprising considering that he went for goal 11 times in the quarterfinals against England. Balotelli has put 14 shots on goal at Euro 2012 so far, and he will certainly add to that tally against Spain on Sunday. 


Iker Casillas and Spain's Defense

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 27: Iker Casillas of Spain saves a penalty from Joao Moutinho of Portugalduring the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Portugal and Spain at Donbass Arena on June 27, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Ima
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Spain's goalkeeper has allowed just one goal in five matches, and let just two penalties in during his team's shootout win over Portugal in Wednesday's semifinal. Casillas has been stellar in net for the Spanish, but the defense played by Sergio Ramos and company on the back line has been every bit as crucial to Spain's impressive four-match shutout streak. 

Casillas has 11 saves in five matches at Euro 2012, and has been arguably the top goalkeeper at this summer's tournament along with Italy's veteran stopper, Gianluigi Buffon. Both goalkeepers have the ability to change the outcome of a match with their athleticism, patience and judgment. Fans should watch for them both on Sunday. 


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more reaction on Euro 2012. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices