Cesc Fabregas has identified Mario Balotelli as the main threat to Spain’s quest for an unprecedented third major international title.
World Cup winners two years ago and European Champions in 2008, La Roja are aiming to outdo the great West Germany side of the 1970s who fell short despite making three straight finals.
But Fabregas believes Balotelli, who scored both goals in Italy’s semi-final win over Germany, could scupper their dreams.
“I think he was a great player yesterday, he showed it. He had great moments and scored two goals. He is one of the great centre forwards and his second goal was a cracker, to put the ball in the net. It said everything against one of the greatest teams like Germany.”
Spain have been far from fluent in their run to the final, with some critics labelling their style of play ‘boring’. But in midfielder Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, they’ve got a player who can change a game in an instant.
That’s something recognized by Sergio Ramos, who’s often a rival at club level.
Spain have only beaten Italy once at a major tournament, on penalties in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals. Italy are undefeated in their other seven meetings