Italy vs Spain rivalry: six great meetings | UEFA EURO 2020

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Italy and Spain will renew one of football’s great rivalries in London on Tuesday evening.

The teams have met ten times at major tournaments, with Italy having enjoyed the upper hand until Spain beat them on penalties on their way to winning EURO 2008, before dishing out a footballing masterclass in the Kyiv final four years later.

Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pellè then helped Italy exact a measure of revenge with a 2-0 triumph in the round of 16 at EURO 2016 in what was sides’ last tournament head-to-head.

As the next match comes into view, picks out six meetings to remember.

Italy vs Spain: live coverage

1934 World Cup quarter-finals: Italy 1-1 Spain (aet); Italy 1-0 Spain (replay)

Their first clash at a major tournament was a gruelling affair. Luis Regueiro and Giovanni Ferrari exchanged goals in Florence and the game remained 1-1 after extra time, which meant a replay the following day. Spain were forced to make seven changes and Giuseppe Meazza soon put the hosts ahead, with Spain then having two goals ruled out as they were eliminated.

EURO ’88 group stage: Italy 1-0 Spain

EURO 1988: Vialli winner for Italy against Spain

EURO 1988: Vialli winner for Italy against Spain

A tactical battle supreme in Frankfurt, where a 19-year-old Italy defender played a starring role: enter Paolo Maldini. The AC Milan youngster marked Spain’s vaunted winger Míchel out of the game, paving the way for the only goal midway through the second half.

That came after Carlo Ancelotti threaded a pass towards Alessandro Altobelli, whose dummy allowed Gianluca Vialli to strike low beyond Andoni Zubizarreta.

1994 World Cup quarter-finals: Italy 2-1 Spain

A simmering rivalry well and truly reached boiling point in Boston. Dino Baggio’s long-range strike gave Italy the lead, but the real action came after the break. An elbow from Mauro Tassotti caught Luis Enrique in the face – an incident bad enough to earn him an eight-match ban, but unseen on the day.

José Luis Caminero did make it 1-1, but two minutes from time, after a sensational end-to-end move, Roberto Baggio rounded Zubizarreta to fire in the winner.

UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final: Spain 0-0 Italy (aet, Spain win 4-2 on pens) 

Spain vs Italy: The full EURO 2008 shoot-out

Spain vs Italy: The full EURO 2008 shoot-out

Spain had never beaten Italy in a competitive game prior to this breakthrough night in Vienna. “I saw nerves in the players,” said coach Luis Aragonés. “My message over and over was that we were the better side and we’d go through.”

And go through they did, as Iker Casillas denied Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale from the spot, leaving Cesc Fàbregas to win it. The 74-year curse was broken.

UEFA EURO 2012 final: Spain 4-0 Italy

Highlights of the UEFA EURO 2012 final

Highlights of the UEFA EURO 2012 final

Spain had failed to truly sparkle in Poland and Ukraine, though it soon became clear in Kyiv that they had been saving the best for last. David Silva headed in the opener following a mesmeric passing exchange, then Jordi Alba scurried through to make it 2-0. Italy never recovered.

After the break, Fernando Torres found the net for a second EURO final running then teed up fellow substitute Juan Mata to cap a scintillating performance.

Memories of the 2012 final

UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16: Italy 2-0 Spain

UEFA EURO 2016 highlights: Italy 2-0 Spain

UEFA EURO 2016 highlights: Italy 2-0 Spain

Having lost to Spain in the two previous EUROs, Italy were not short of motivation as the teams met again at the Stade de France, and this time it was the Azzurri who won the day, ending Spain’s eight-year reign as European champions.

Chiellini forced in the first goal from close range in the 33rd minute and, despite a superb performance from David de Gea in the Spain goal, Pellè made the game safe a minute into added time.

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