Prandelli admits Spain are favourites for Euro 2012 final
Cesare Prandelli says Euro 2012 has been a dream for Italy but insists Spain are favourites in the final.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has revealed Euro 2012 has been a dream for him thus far but concedes his team will be up against it when they face the favourites Spain in the final.
The Italians weren’t expected to do much in Poland and Ukraine this summer after a terrible build-up - the Azzurri losing all three of their pre-tournament friendlies.
However, Italy have turned the tables in the main competition, producing a brilliant display to get the better of Germany in the semi-finals on Thursday.
Before that, Italy secured a 1-1 draw with defending champions Spain as they finished runners-up in Group C, ahead of Croatia and the Republic of Ireland.
The performance against Spain seemed to set the tone for the rest of the tournament and, having not been fancied to make it past the group stages by some, Italy are now 90 minutes away from another piece of major silverware.
While the Italians have impressed thus far, the Spanish have been somewhat disappointing despite reaching the final having only conceded one goal.
Portugal pushed them hard in their semi-final encounter before losing their nerve in the resulting penalty shoot-out.
Despite Spain having been somewhat underwhelming at Euro 2012, Prandelli is still full of praise for Vincente del Bosque’s men and claims they are the favourites to win the final in Kiev.
“I open my eyes but I’m still dreaming,” said Prandelli. “There’s great satisfaction here as everyone has put so much work into this.
“But Spain will go into the game as favourites.”
He added: “They’ve been working on this for many years and have dominated every single contest. They are a brilliant side.”
Spain are the 8/15 favourites to lift the trophy with Ladbrokes, with the Italians 6/4.
The last time these two sides met at a major tournament the game finished goalless, penalties settling who went through to the semi-finals of Euro 2008 on that occasion.
The match to be even once again when it reaches the 90 minute mark is 21/10, with Spain 11/10 and Italy 14/5 to win it within regulation time.