Euro 2012: Spain's Cesc Fabregas warns of Italy's 'special' players

Euro 2012: Final

  • Venue: Olympic Stadium, Kiev
  • Date: Sunday, 1 July
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC One HD and full coverage on BBC Radio 5live. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas is wary of the threat posed by Italy's attack as the two countries gear up for the Euro 2012 final on Sunday.

Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano head Italy's attack and Fabregas said: "They have a lot of variety up front.

"They have strong players like Balotelli, tricky players like Cassano.

"In midfield they have special players like [Claudio] Marchisio and [Andrea] Pirlo, who's had a great tournament. It will be a tough game."

Fabregas penalty puts Spain into final

Fabregas equalised for Spain after Italy took the lead against them when the teams drew 1-1 in their Group C opener at the start of their Euro 2012 campaigns.

Antonio Di Natale scored for the Azzurri as Spain conceded the only goal against them in the tournament.

"The winners will be deserving champions," said Fabregas. "I think we've been the two most consistent teams at the tournament."

Balotelli, 21, scored twice in Italy's semi-final win over Germany to set up a final against Spain.

And, while Fabregas knows the danger Italy's strikers possess, he is also aware of the overall strength of Cesare Prandelli's side.

"They have a very competitive team," said Fabregas.

"They are very experienced at the back and up front, and they have players who had excellent seasons for teams like AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.

"Spain have been criticised for being boring during this tournament but I think that is only because they are not playing exactly the way people want to see them play. That drives people to be critical, but I don't think the Spanish players deserve to get any negative comments."

"Italy's defenders are very experienced, and they know when to attack and when to defend.

"On top of that they have a goalkeeper [Gianluigi Buffon] who's a natural leader, but Spain have a great goalkeeper as well in Iker Casillas."

Spain will be trying to make history on Sunday as they are going for an unprecedented win at a third major tournament on the trot after victories at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

"We are aware of what we are playing for on Sunday," said La Roja defender Sergio Ramos.

"It is something that as of today no team has ever achieved. It requires many years of work and sacrifice. No matter what happens we have already made history.

"This hasn't finished though and the icing on the cake would be to return and win the Euros."