The moment has arrived for Spain and Italy to battle with the European championship at stake. While we expected the Spanish to be in the final of Euro 2012 to defend their title, many did not expect Italy to reach this stage.
With all the attention given to Spain—and rightly so since they are the team to beat—they cannot underestimate this Italian side. This is a complete Italian squad that not only defends well, it can also score goals in several different ways.
Capturing a third straight major international tournament crown will be difficult for Spain, but it's a challenge they are ready for.
Let's look at all you need to know so you don't miss a minute of the intense action at Euro 2012.
When: Sunday, July 1 at 2:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Player to Watch for Spain: Sergio Ramos
Spanish center back Sergio Ramos will need to defend well against Italian forwards Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano for Spain to not allow the match to get away from them early.
Not only will Ramos play a role on defense, he will be a factor on the attack when Spain has set pieces. His heading ability is world class and he will score goals if not marked properly. Ramos will be an important player at both ends of the pitch for Spain in the final.
Player to Watch for Italy: Andrea Pirlo
A case could easily be made for Andrea Pirlo being named the player of the tournament thus far. Pirlo has been the best passer in the tournament and makes the game so much easier for the players around him.
He has a great chance to show the world that he's the best midfielder in Europe with a fantastic performance against Spain.