Friday December 2 2011
'Better to face Spain early'


Italy legend Sandro Mazzola feels it is “better to meet Spain straight away,” while Cesc Fabregas concedes it’s “a tough group.”

The draw for Euro 2012 has pitted the Azzurri against Spain, the Republic of Ireland and Croatia.

“It’s better to meet Spain straight away,” Mazzola told RAI. “We already know Ireland, while Croatia are a good side, but Italy are superior.

“What if Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi don’t recover in time? The Azzurri are still superior.”

Italy’s opening game is against reigning World and European champions Spain, something that makes Fabregas nervous.

“Italy, Ireland and Croatia. It’s a tough group,” wrote the Spain and Barcelona midfielder on Twitter.