Thursday June 27 2013
Zoff: Italy can embarrass Spain

Dino Zoff has reflected on why Spain must pay attention to Italy, and also his belief in Alberto Gilardino.

Italy are preparing for a Confederations Cup semi-final against Spain in Fortaleza  this evening, for a place in Sunday’s final against the tournament hosts.

The game is a rematch between the two teams that contested last summer’s European Championship Final, which ended 4-0 to La Roja.

However, for the Azzurri’s former World Cup and European Championship winner, it is Vicente del Bosque’s men that he has warned.

“Spain must be attentive to Italy, because they have always been able to embarrass anyone,” Zoff told Marca today.

“It is something that they have always, throughout their history, been able to demonstrate.

“What has been Spain’s key of late? Everything. They have great players, of excellent technical quality.

“Maybe Iniesta and Xavi stand out from the rest, but what makes this team great is the squad, the strength of the group.

“I hope it is not another 4-0 because that would be very sad.”

Mario Balotelli is absent through injury, but Zoff has backed replacement Alberto Gilardino to be equally as dangerous.

“If the team can get close to the penalty area then yes. Alberto is fast and dangerous. I insist, the key is that both midfield and defence push forward to generate danger further up.”