Euro 2016: Italy To Play Spain In Round Of 16

Anthony Sciarratta - Author
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Jun. 21 2016, Updated 1:51 p.m. ET

Italy is thriving in the Euro 2016 tournament. The Italians’ haven’t put on this impressive of a showing since the 2012 Euro Cup. Antonio Conte’s squad was arguably what critics called, “the worst team in Italian history.” Very few predictions from soccer experts had Italy advancing far in the tournament or even out of the group stage. Those critics are probably eating their words after they soundly defeated Sweden this Friday and advanced to the next round.

Spain’s loss to Croatia bumped the Spaniards down to second place in group D. This ensures that the Italians will take on Spain in the round of 16. Spain defeated Italy in the 2012 Euro Cup final 4-0 in 2012. A year later two teams squared off in the 2013 Confederations Cup semifinals where Italy lost in a penalty shootout.

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Italy will truly be put to the test when they take on the reigning Euro Cup champions. Spain has had Italy’s number over the years. Just because they had a moment of weakness against Croatia doesn’t mean that La Roja can’t pick apart the Italians. However, this time around it looks like Italy has the chance to prove that the last Euro Cup final was a fluke.

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