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Carlo's Final countdown

Posted on 30 June 2012  - 10:00

Carlo Cudicini is willing Italy to triumph in Euro 2012 - but once again, he insists the destiny of the trophy is too close to call ahead of Sunday's final against Spain in Kiev.

Carlo's Final countdown

Our experienced Italian goalkeeper got it spot-on - literally - when he said there was nothing to choose between Italy and England ahead of last Sunday's quarter-final.

That match finished goalless after a brave England defensive display and Italy went through on penalties.

However, the Azzurri were outstanding in beating highly-fancied Germany in Thursday's semi-final as Mario Balotelli's double, another supreme display from Andrea Pirlo in midfield and outstanding defensive performance saw them home 2-1 in Warsaw.

As Carlo hints below, Spain, the reigning European and world champions, haven't hit the heights yet but nevertheless are in their third major final on the trot having breezed past France and then toppled Portugal on penalties in the semi-final.

"It's another very tough game to call," said Carlo, who counts AC Milan and Lazio amongst his former clubs in Italy.

"Spain are the European and world champions and as everyone knows, they are very difficult to play against but I was very impressed with Italy's performance against Germany.

"I have to say, if you said before the tournament that we'd be talking about Italy taking on Spain, I wouldn't be sure but Spain seem to be struggling a little. They've been playing the system without a striker and they haven't quite looked themselves.

"Italy were brilliant against Germany on Thursday so as I said, it's tough to call."

Carlo isn't expecting to see coach Cesare Prandelli return to the 3-5-2 system employed against Spain when the teams met in the first match of Group C, when the Azzurri took the lead and impressed in a 1-1 draw.

"They've returned to the more familiar 4-1-3-2 and they've beaten England and played really well in beating Germany, so I don't think they will go back to that system."