Spain Coach Luis de la Fuente considers the European Under-21 Championship opener with Italy “practically an early Final.”
It kicks off in Bologna on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) in a group with Poland and Belgium.
“This is practically an early Final,” said the Coach in his Press conference. “It’s wonderful to be here and enter a clash between two such high level teams.”
These are the most successful nations in the history of the competition, as Italy won it five times and Spain four.
“Italy are a great side with players who combine pace with technique. I think we have similar qualities too and we’ll fight it out on even terms, considering the potential in both teams.
“We want to control the initiative, maintain possession and impose our football on the game, regardless of what Italy do.”