In the final quarterfinal match of Euro 2008, Spain will face Italy, the World Cup champions. Spain has looked dominant so far, winning all three of their matches. However, the group winners have gone 0-3 in the quarterfinals so far, and the Azzurri should never be counted out.
A perfect 3-0 in Group D, Spain is an impressive 17-0-2 in international competition over their last 19 matches, and they are always one of the most talented teams in recent competitions. David Villa and Fernando Torres have impressed up front, while the young Fabregas brings creativity and speed to the mix. Spain may have had their issues in the past, but this team is poised to excel in the elimination round. Additionally, Italy has looked old and slow so far, not even close to their form of two years ago. Italy was crushed by the Dutch, and only managed to tie Romania via a PK save by Buffon. The loss of the Azzurri's captain Cannavaro to injury has really hurt, and it's in doubt whether they will be able to compete with the Spanish youth, speed, and talent.
Most of the players from the World Cup victory have returned, and the quality is there. A return to form would put them among the elite sides in the world. Spain is infamous for folding under the pressure of the elimination stages recently, and they may not be sharp after resting many players in their last group match. Just ask Croatia and the Netherlands how the extra rest went for them. Players with the experience and skill of the Italians know how to fight for their lives.
Spain, 2-1 in extra time.