Euro 2012 final: Spain versus Italy in numbers

Spain and Italy opened their Euro 2012 campaign against each other in a 1-1 Group C encounter and they will bring the curtain down on the tournament when they contest the final on Sunday.

La Roja will be trying to become the first team to win three major tournaments after their victories at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

Italy, who have only won the European Championship once before in 1968, can stop Spain making history and add to their last tournament success, which came at the 2006 World Cup.

Head-to-head statistics

  • Italy and Spain are facing each other for the 31st time in their history. The Azzurri have 10 wins and Spain have eight, while there have been 12 draws.
  • The Azzurri are unbeaten against Spain at major tournaments (penalty shoot-outs excluded), with three wins and four draws. Nevertheless, Spain advanced in their last knockout encounter in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 (0-0 after 120 mins, 4-2 after penalties).
  • Cesare Prandelli has faced Spain twice as Italy head coach and has yet to lose. Italy beat them in a friendly in August 2011 (2-1) before drawing in their opening game at Euro 2012 (1-1).
  • Spain have faced only 12 shots on target at Euro 2012. Half of those were against Italy in their opening game (6).
  • Italy and Spain have had the most shots at Euro 2012 - 99 and 86 respectively.

Spain in numbers

  • La Roja will become the first team to retain the European Championship trophy if they beat Italy. The Soviet Union got to the 1964 final as holders but lost and West Germany suffered the same fate when they were beaten in the 1976 final.
  • Spain have not conceded a single goal in their last 900 minutes of action in major tournament knockout games, a streak which started in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008.
  • Spain have the best defensive record at Euro 2012 with only one goal conceded. In their last two games (a quarter-final v France and semi-final v Portugal), the combined opposition managed one shot on target.
  • They dominated possession in their seven games at World Cup 2010 and five games at Euro 2012. Germany, in the final of Euro 2008, were the last side to enjoy more possession than Spain in a tournament knockout tie.
  • Five Spanish players (Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos) have completed more passes than Italy's most prolific player in that department, Andrea Pirlo (320 passes).
  • Andres Iniesta has had the most shots on target without scoring in a European Championship fixture since 1980 - 11 shots on target, no goals.
  • Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla are the most used substitutes in the history of the European Championships (alongside Netherlands' Aron Winter), having been brought on seven times.

Italy in numbers

  • Italy have picked up the most bookings at Euro 2012 - 15. That's five more than Spain (10).
  • They have committed 79 fouls during the tournament as opposed to Spain's 66.
  • This is Italy's ninth final at major tournaments (three at the European Championship, six at the World Cup). They've won 63% (five).
  • Italy are the only side to have never trailed at any point during Euro 2012.
  • The Azzurri are unbeaten in 15 competitive games under Cesare Prandelli: winning 10 (one by default) and drawing five.
  • Striker Mario Balotelli has had the most shots on target at Euro 2012 - 10.
  • Keeper Gianluigi Buffon has played 24 matches at major tournaments, equalling Dino Zoff's Italian record, but he is still four short of the goalkeepers' record, held by Spain's Iker Casillas (28).
  • No team has made more blocks, clearances and interceptions than Italy during Euro 2012 - 248.

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson's prediction

"As good as Mario Balotelli was for Italy in their semi-final win over Germany, I can still see him doing something stupid or sulking in the final.

"In many ways I'd like to see Italy win it because Cesare Prandelli has been tactically astute, he has got his players playing for him and I like the way his team plays.

"But this is Spain we are talking about.

"They will be set up to keep possession as we know they do and I am not sure Italy will see enough of the ball to impose themselves on the game in the way they have done in other games at this tournament.

"I'm going for a Spain win."

BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty's prediction

"I tipped Spain before the start of Euro 2012 and will not back away from them now, despite Italy's ominous improvement.

"Italy's Andrea Pirlo has become one of the most celebrated performers in Poland and Ukraine after delivering back-to-back midfield masterclasses against England and Germany.

"But Spain are on a mission to confirm their status as one of the greatest national teams in the game's history by retaining the European Championship to stand alongside the World Cup.

"La Roja have riches of their own in midfield in the shape of Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta - with Cesc Fabregas an added option. Pirlo's ability to dictate pace and terms in that crucial area could be decisive."

What they say about the final

"We haven't done anything yet, as it would be like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. We are in the final, but we need the victory." - Italy's Andrea Pirlo.

"Italy and ourselves have lived parallel lives and now we have to be at the level that a final demands." - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

"We won the league at Manchester City so having a good season for me doesn't depend on winning the Euros," - Italy striker Mario Balotelli.

"We need to win, that much is obvious. If we do it, it'll be historic, but we still have to improve on a few things." - Spain midfielder David Silva.

"Spain are the favourites in terms of experience and consistency, but we are in there." - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

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