Spain vs. Italy: Pedro, Antonio Cassano and More X-Factors in Euro 2012 Final

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2012

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 18:  Fernando Torres of Spain in action during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Croatia and Spain at The Municipal Stadium on June 18, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

The final of Euro 2012 could certainly be won by an unlikely hero that produces his best on the brightest stage in European football.

These X-factors will be a key part of the game and could be enough to turn the tide in one team's favor since this is such an even match on paper.

Let's look at the two biggest X-factors for each team.



WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 28:  Mario Balotelli of Italy battles for the ball with  Holger Badstuber 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 by Christop
Christopher Lee/Getty Images


Antonio Cassano

While Mario Balotelli seems like an easy pick for being an X-factor in this match, it's hard to imagine him not having a solid performance in the final.

With Spain likely focusing a lot of attention on Balotelli, it will be up to Antonio Cassano to step up and deliver. He has played well in this tournament thus far and must give the Italian attack a boost on Sunday.


Antonio Di Natale

Antonio Di Natale came on as a substitute in Italy's 2-1 victory over Germany in the semifinal and could be a valuable substitute against Spain in the final. He has good pace and is a world-class goal scorer.

His finishing skills in front of goal are fantastic. If the match appears headed for penalties, Di Natale would be a good player to bring onto the pitch.



DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 27: Pedro of Spain celebrates victory during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Portugal and Spain at Donbass Arena on June 27, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images



Pedro was spectacular in extra time of Spain's semifinal win over Portugal and was tough to defend because of his dribbling skills and pace. He attacks defenders with great quickness and determination.

If Spain are trailing in the second half and need a goal, Pedro would be the perfect substitute for manager Vicente del Bosque. He also has a history of scoring in important matches with Barcelona.


Fernando Torres

Torres has world-class attacking talent and is always a threat to score against any opponent. His goal-scoring skills and heading ability could be an important part of the Spanish attack against a strong Italian back four.

The Chelsea striker scored Spain's only goal in their Euro 2008 final victory over Germany and could certainly be the hero again this year.