NEWS

Spanish players and Coach Vicente del Bosque blamed the “dry pitch” in Gdansk for their draw with Italy. “It’s shameful we should have to play on this surface.”
According to reports in Italy, Christian Obodo has been freed by his kidnappers in Nigeria after his family paid a €150,000 ransom.
Cesare Prandelli admits Mario Balotelli “should’ve passed it” in a great chance against Spain, but insists the substitution was “not punishment.”
Xavi Hernandez feels Spain “deserved the victory” after their hard-fought 1-1 draw with Italy and complained about the pitch.
Croatia made a confident start to Group C by sweeping Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland aside 3-1 with a Mario Mandzukic brace.
Fernando Torres praised Gianluigi Buffon and insisted he was not disappointed at being on the bench for Spain-Italy.
Vicente del Bosque concedes it was “a difficult match” against the Azzurri and Spain were content to grab a point.
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas admits the draw was “the right result, as both sides never gave up and attacked to the end.”
How to stop the World and European champions in their tracks? Rating and slating the Azzurri performances after an impressive group opener.
Andrea Pirlo believes Italy’s friendly defeat to Russia “did us good” to prepare them for the 1-1 draw with Spain.
Daniele De Rossi explains why Cesare Prandelli picked him as a centre-back against Spain. “We wanted to play the ball.”
Cesare Prandelli pointed out the Azzurri came out to attack Spain in their 1-1 draw. “This is the real Italy.”
Antonio Di Natale admits he “still remembers” the penalty he missed against Spain in Euro 2008, so this was a special goal for him.
Antonio Di Natale scored with his first touch as an impressive Italy performance held Spain to a 1-1 draw in the Group C opener.
Pro Vercelli and Virtus Lanciano have been promoted into Serie B after the Lega Pro play-offs.
Lazio director of sport Igli Tare has silenced reports of Barcelona’s interest in Miroslav Klose. “He is not for sale.”
Italy have chosen Emanuele Giaccherini, Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli in a 3-5-2 system, but Spain opt for a no-striker system by dropping Fernando Torres.
There are reports Catania have chosen their new Coach after Rolando Maran failed to achieve promotion with Varese.
Inter “made enquiries after Sebastian Giovinco and will see what happens over the next few days,” confirmed director of sport Piero Ausilio.
Police in Nigeria have confirmed Udinese and Lecce midfielder Christian Obodo was kidnapped, but they “hope to rescue him alive.”
Thiago Motta is looking forward to challenging Spain’s Sergio Busquets again today. “Nobody is unbeatable and we’re convinced Italy can win.”
Sampdoria’s promotion party was marred by an ambush from Genoa ultras that has left three Blucerchiati fans in serious condition.
Cesare Prandelli confirmed Emanuele Giaccherini will start against Spain today. “We will be ready and eager to prove ourselves against the best.”
Alberto Gilardino’s Genoa career may be over after six months, as French media claim Claudio Ranieri’s Monaco have offered €8m.
Milan are thought to be closing in on a low-cost swoop for Napoli and former Liverpool winger Andrea Dossena.
It’s believed Vincenzo Montella could finally become the new Fiorentina Coach this weekend and he is intent on keeping controversial Alessio Cerci.
Sampdoria are celebrating their return to Serie A after just one year in the wilderness. “I always believed,” said Coach Beppe Iachini.
As reports continue that Robin van Persie has given the all-clear to Juventus, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood admits the Dutchman could leave.
There are still some doubts as to how Italy will line up against Spain today, though Daniele De Rossi is bound for a centre-back role.
Cagliari have reportedly turned down a €12m offer for defender Davide Astori from Russians Spartak Moscow.
Fiorentina have reiterated there are “no negotiations with Napoli for Stevan Jovetic,” but admit he will be sold “if he does want to leave.”
The “lack of credibility” around the Italy squad could prove helpful, claims 1982 World Cup winner Paolo Rossi.
President Aurelio De Laurentiis assures fans Napoli “will reinforce the defence, midfield and wings, but after Goran Pandev we don’t need anyone in attack.”
Serbia manager Sinisa Mihajlovic is confident “Italy can do well in Euro 2012,” though questions Daniele De Rossi’s new role in central defence.
Pescara President Daniele Sebastiani explained why he appointed Coach Giovanni Stroppa and that Marco Verratti will only go to Juventus “on our terms.”

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES