Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque has admitted that Italy have “always been able to push the right buttons in order to complicate our lives.”
The Azzurri are in the Spanish capital this midweek for a friendly against the world and double European champions.
The two nations have played each other in the 2013 Confederations Cup semi-final and twice at Euro 2012, in games that Del Bosque admits were not straight forward.
“They are an opponent who has always been able to push the right buttons in order to complicate our lives, especially with regards to our defence,” considered the former Real Madrid boss to the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I think of the opening of the field with Maggio and Giaccherini, the runs from central from De Rossi, Marchisio or Montolivo, the one-on-ones from Cassano and Balotelli, Pirlo’s intelligence.
“They have always been able to find ideas that have created problems, which fortunately we have always managed to overcome.
“At the start of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, it was not that Di Natale’s goal was the only one we conceded, Italy gave us a very tough time.
“I consider the final against Italy as the best game of my administration, I do not forget that Italy had several problems - fatigue, injury, Chiellini and Motta…
“Then there was the complicated challenge in Brazil, with additional major problems that Italy caused us, they dominated much of the game.
“How do I explain it? Italy have been world champions recently, they have good players and the Juventus block is important and tried.”
Del Bosque, who considered also why the likes of Borja Valero, Jose Callejon and Fernando Llorente didn’t make his latest squad, was asked of his view on Serie A as a League.
“I like to see that the Juventus Stadium is better than what was before, it is more enjoyable. For the rest I’m not going to get into the League.
“I no longer see the concept of Italian football, English or Spanish. Football has been globalised and it is mixed.
“There are no English clubs in England, Italian in Italy. In Madrid, for example, there are Spaniards in few positions.”