Fernando Torres is expecting his Spain side to be tested by Italy in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.
Although La Roja have the upper hand in the most recent competitive matches against the Azzurri, the Chelsea man still respects Cesare Prandelli’s outfit.
“We always expect a tough match with few goals against Italy, a team that knows how to compete and even more so in competition,” he said to Mundo Deportivo.
“That is regardless of the results that we have had lately, the draw in Euro 2008, the draw in the group stage of Euro 2012, the 4-0 win in the Final of Euro 2012.
“A semi-final in a tournament is always going to be a tough game.
“Will Italy lose much with no Mario Balotelli? We will see what happens, Balotelli is a great player.”
The two teams will face each other on Thursday and Torres could replace Roberto Soldado in the starting line-up.
“I always hope to start, always,” he continued. “Whatever game that is, be that with the national team or with my club…
“But if I am not a starter then I am no longer 18-years-old, to be upset, disappointed or angry with the world.
“You accept it as normal and hope to play for a while and if you do not get that chance then it will be different come the next match.”