The Euros to kick off at Poland-Ukraine from 8th June promises a series of scintillating games guaranteed to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. The domination of Spain in football has been a process that has taken them to a great position to achieve more glory with the help of their star players. Spain are touted as favourites and are likely to retain their title. Germany and Netherlands as usual have been almost perfect but they’ve failed to break the jinx in the final barrier. England with a host of Premier League players who have a list of accomplishments will be keen to do well though they’ve failed to do well as a team. France too have a team that will push for the title and hence serve warning to the top teams. Then there’s Italy, who are the dark horses of the Euro 2012 and they can explode when it matters.
Italy, placed in group C along with Spain, Ireland and Croatia, is considered to progress along with Spain and their real test will lie in the knockout stages. The former World Champions have won the Euros in 1968 and were the runners-up in 2000 and this year could be a repeat of the 1968 feat. Italy, four times World Champions known for their defensive aura and feeding long balls to their strikers, has been the known approach over the years. The traditional forwards like Del Piero and Luca Toni were used alternatively to get the desired drive out of their game-play. The Italy squad this year has enough potential and their strike force comprising of Mario Ballotelli, Antonio di Natale and Antonio Cassano, is a serious threat. Di Natale of Udinese has been in stupendous form enabling his team to qualify for the Champions League. Super Mario of Manchester City can be a nuisance every where, but on the field he is as good as the world’s best. Italy will look to play with two strikers upfront to dominate their opposition and provide some danger upfront. The midfield has the evergreen Andrea Pirlo and the clever play combination of Thiago Motta and Daniel De Rossi who deliver on big occasions. The defence looks as strong as ever and the likes of the experienced Ignazio Abate, Giorgio Chiellini and Christian Maggio will look to serve as the perfect back-four in front of Gianluigi Buffon.
Italy face Spain in their opening match on 10 June and even a draw will give them enough confidence to go on. A lot will depend on the partnership upfront and it is Super Mario’s time to prove he is the god of sanity in the game to put more depth to his claims of being a complete striker. The 3-0 loss to Russia in the friendly ahead of the Euros will create doubts but in the biggest stage Italy can deliver and go right till the end to defeat Spain, which will be a perfect leap for the talented group ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.