Italy coach Antonio Conte assured supporters that he had not just “come down from the moon” ahead of his side’s Euro 2016 last-16 clash with Spain.
Conte’s Italy topped Group E, but that was not enough to guarantee them an easy draw with reigning European champions Spain awaiting in the next round.
The tie sees a repeat of the Euro 2012 final, which Spain won 4-0.
Italy lost their final group game 1-0 against the Republic of Ireland, and as Conte seemed to grow tired about persistent questions about how he would prepare his side for Spain, the soon-to-be Chelsea head coach made clear he knew exactly what he was up against.
“What do I need to say about Spain? Do you want me to tell you they’re rubbish? What should I say? We’re coming up against one of the best sides in the world. End of,” he said.
“Unless I’ve come down from the moon and think Spain are just a sparring partner.”