Italy’s Euro 2016 knockout meeting with Spain will not be similar to their one-sided contest in the Euro 2012 final, according to Mauro Camoranesi.
Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 in Kiev four years ago to claim a second consecutive European title and the two teams are now set to meet in the last 16 of the current competition at Stade de France on Monday.
Camoranesi – a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006 – feels Italy head coach Antonio Conte’s different tactical plan compared with that of his predecessor, Cesare Prandelli, will ensure this meeting is not as open.
“Italy are completely different,” the former Juventus winger told Goal. “This time it is more traditional. The other one [Prandelli] was more experimental.
“For the first time in a long time, Prandelli’s team tried to have possession of the ball, something that had never been done. Spain found many spaces to come from behind and put that team in trouble.
“Now, Conte does not want the possession, they were even dominated by Ireland! Spain will have the possession of the ball. They will try to reach our goal with more passing accuracy.
“Italy will expect Spain to make a mistake and take advantage of the spaces they can leave. These are two teams that know each other very well and these games have a strong mentality component.
“It’s going to be decided more for having a strong mental force rather than game. It depends much more on Spain than Italy. I see very little chances for Italy, but that does not mean they cannot win. It will depend on what kind of football Spain will play.”
Italy have failed to beat Spain in three meetings since that Euro 2012 final, but Camoranesi believes their players will be relishing the challenge.
He continued: “Italy has no more to offer than what was seen already in this tournament: personality and fight. An Italian player is a competitive player, they like this kind of challenge.
“Italy are not one of the favourites, perhaps because of the lack of big names. Because of this and their style of play, Italy are almost never considered as favourites, but their competitiveness when dressing in the national team shirt gives them an extra energy.”