Euro 2012 Final Preview: Italy vs. Spain

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Euro 2012 Final Preview: Italy vs. Spain
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Sunday's European Championship final will be a titanic clash between an established world power in Italy and the sport's nouveau riche in Spain, the world game's elite team for the past four years, having won both Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

This will be the third time the teams have met in the last two European Championships, having squared off in the quarterfinal of Euro 2008 (a 0-0 draw that went to Spain on penalties) and in the group stage opener of this tournament on June 10 (a 1-1 draw).

The last two World Cup winners will clash once again with the European Cup on the line.  Spain was expected to get here, but their road was much rockier than one would have anticipated.  Some tabbed Italy for a second consecutive group-stage crash-out, especially after the calcioscommesse scandal rocked the Italian game in the week before the tournament.

Let's take a closer look at the Finals matchup as we approach this clash of titans.

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