Current Euro Champions Spain and rival Italy clash tonight in the Euro 2012 Final in a rematch of their Group C opening fixture. That match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Fans are waiting for the Italy and Spain squads to be named.

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli reportedly will not be going back to the 3-5-2 formation he used against Spain last time.

Cesc Fabregas who started against Italy is expected to start again today along with Fernando Torres.

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Mario Ballotelli, Italy “Tonight was the most beautiful of my life.”

Italy Football Tickets - Italy UEFA Euro 2012 Final Tickets – Kiev

After scoring the winning second goal against Germany that took Italy into the Euro 2012 Final, Mario Ballotelli ripped off his shirt earning him a yellow card and tried his best to keep an ice-cool straight face.

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli later praised Mario Balotelli’s attitude ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2012 final with Spain.

We have always felt he had great ability,’ said Prandelli. ‘He has found a set-up where he can talk to great champions, who have won a lot of trophies and achieved a lot.

There comes a time when you have to be brave enough to accept other people’s advice because the result becomes paramount.

We have asked him to do certain things, and at this moment in time, he is doing them.’

Reportedly Spain are a boring team.

That assessment comes from the fact the same side has always been winning,’ he said. ‘I don’t think they are boring in any way, shape or form.’

At the final whistle, Ballotelli gave and got a big hug of his adoptive mother, Silvia, her face creased in emotion as he whispered that his two goals were dedicated to her.

“Tonight was the most beautiful of my life,” Balotelli said afterwards – aged just 21.

After that petulant red card against Arsenal Mancini suggested he had washed his hands of the striker while Italy coach Cesare Prandelli had grave misgivings about including the player in his Euros squad.

Balotelli was born one of four children, two boys, two girls, into a Ghanaian immigrant family in Palermo in 1990. He was adopted by the Balotellis when he was only two and-a-half. Reportedly Balotelli grew up craving attention. He never wanted to be left alone, always wanted company.

For years he could only go to sleep if Silvia held his hand. “He does things his own way.”

At last Saturday he talked of “how amazing” it would be to score in the final, how happy he was and what a “special year” he has been through.

His stepmother gave Ballotelli a gold medallion that Silvia gave to him a few years ago. It bears the inscription: “Professionalism, Endeavour, Humility”.

Ballotelli arrived in Italy on the team plane at the airport in Kiev on Saturday afternoon

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Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo of Italy Celebrate

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Ballotelli who also plays for Manchester City, has now scored three times at Euro 2012 - and is looking to score again the the Euro 2012 Final tomorrow.

"I waited a long time for this moment, especially because my mother came all the way here and I wanted to make her happy," he said after the victory over Germany. "This is the greatest evening of my life, but I hope Sunday will be even better," said the striker, who has a chance to finish as the tournament's top scorer with one more goal.

"For the final my father is coming, too," he added. "So I hope to score"

Defending champions and World Cup holders, Spain are bidding to win a third straight major title and to cement its place as one of the greatest national sides of all time. It would also match Germany's record of winning three European Championship titles.

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Spain's extra day of rest should go in their favor - while there is some concern about Balotelli caming off in the second half against Germany due to a cramp.

Italy boss, Cesare Prandelli said Spain is the best bet to lift the trophy.

"At the moment, even if I open my eyes, I am still dreaming," Prandelli said after his side's 2-1 victory over Germany in the semifinals, where Balotelli scored both goals.

"Spain remain favorites because of the years of hard work that they have put in. They have been dominant in every game they've played so far."

Spain hasn't lost in a European Championship game in eight years.

Pirlo, Balotelli, and Cassano are leading one of Italy's most agressive squads in recent history.

"We always just tried to play, I think that is our strength," said Prandelli, whose team is bidding to give Italy its second European title, the same number as Spain and France.

"When we started off at this tournament, we were convinced that by working in a certain way we could become a proper team - not just a quality team, but also a team with the right spirit."

Spain has not conceded since that opening draw with Italy and hasn't conceded a goal in nine elimination games at major tournaments.

Spain's attack has featured a rotating cast of forwards, with attacking midfielder Cesc Fabregas and striker Fernando Torres.

"When you send out a substitute who is upset it always makes things more difficult. When you send out a player who is happy and ready to play one minute if that's what's needed, that is very important," said Del Bosque, who has won a European Championship and a World Cup.

Del Bosque admitted that Portugal had not only made Spain look sloppy for over an hour, but had taken his players "to the limit."

"We're proud of what we are doing and of course we hope to achieve what no one else has done before," Del Bosque said, before touching on what victory would mean with an economic crisis back home.

"It would be good for everyone, for Spanish football and for our country."

EURO 2012 FINAL Olympic Stadium Kiev

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal


Just Portugal, Spain, Germany and Italy are left to fight it out for the title. The two Iberian neighbors will kick off the semifinal action on Wednesday, AND Germany will face the Italians on Thursday.

Portugal finished second in Group B behind Germany. After losing to the Germans 1-0, they rebounded by beating Denmark 3-2 and the Netherlands 2-1. In the quarterfinals, they defeated the Czech Republic 1-0 due to a header from Ronaldo, who has scored Portugal’s last three goals.

Spain has yet to lose a game at Euro 2012 – they have only conceded one goal, which came in their 1-1 draw against Italy. Since then, they have delivered three straight shutouts, easily dispatching Ireland (4-0), Croatia (1-0) and France (2-0).

Premium Euro 2012 football tickets are still available for sale securely online. Do not miss the opportunity to watch the top footballers in the world compete live.

Mario Ballotelli, Italy and Manchester City

Mario Balotelli scored a winning goal in Italy’s defeat of England. Ballotelli and Joe Hart spent an hour together after the game as they were randomly selected by UEFA for drug testing. At 2 am, they were still locked in a room together.

Daniele De Rossi, Italy

In Italy’s first two games of Euro 2012, De Rossi featured as a defender rather than his normal role in central midfield.

Andrea Pirlo, Italy and Juventus

The Juve midfielder is unbeaten in over a year in club football and he has carried his superb form into Euro 2012. Reportedly he is Italy’s most important player – he can do absolutely everything.

Mesut Ozil, Germany and Real Madrid

Germany playmaker and Real Madrid star, Mesut Ozil, is developing a reputation for opening up the tightest of defences. He has improved steadily over Germany’s three games and is nearing the kind of form you need to win a major trophy.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany and Bayern Munich

The German and Bayern Munich vice captain has played a number of key roles in Euro 2012, setting the tone for the rest of the team in terms of professionalism. The Germany midfielder has declared himself fit and available for selection for Thursday’s Euro 2012 semi-final showdown with Italy.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal and Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s Ronaldo is playing well in matches against Germany and Denmark and he deserves his reputation as one of the best players in the world.
Pepe, Portugal and Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s Pepe has been the strong man for Portugal in Euro 2012. The 29-year-old has been a rock at the back in what many regard as the best Portuguese team of all-time. He has done all the dirty work you would expect of any top class defender. He is a positive and leading influence.
Xavi, Spain
“No other player in the competition is as influential or as skillful at dictating the pace and tempo of a match.”
Sergio Ramos, Spain and Real Madrid
The Real Madrid defender has been a star for La Roja at Euro 2012. He plays as centre-half for his club team, however he is usually deployed at right for Spaint. Like Pepe, he is playing with quiet power – almost unoticed.
David Silva, Spain and Manchester City
Silva drifts between midfield and the final third. He has been involved with practically every single goal La Roja have scored in the competition.
Andres Iniesta, Spain
Doing the damage for Spain “there is no one better at the role in world football” – always choosing the right pass, regardless of whether it denies him a goal or not.
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EURO 2012: England 1-0 Ukraine – Italy v England Tickets


Wayne Rooney Scores Winning Goal

EURO 2012: England 1-0 Ukraine

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Italy v England Tickets EURO 2012 Quarter-Final 24 Jun 2012 20:45 Olympic Stadium Kiev Kiev, Ukraine

Rooney struck home in the 48th minute as he claimed his first goal at a major international tournament since 21st June, 2004.

Roy Hodgson's side looked fit and prepared to go all the way.


England XI

Hart; Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young; Rooney, Welbeck.

Subs: Green, Kelly, Walcott, Henderson, Carroll, Baines, Jones, Jagielka, Downing, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Defoe, Butland.

Ukraine XI

Pyatov, Gusev, Rakitskiy, Khatcheridi, Selin, Yarmolenko, Tymoschuk, Garmash, Konoplyanka, Milevsky, Devic.

Subs: Koval, Kucher, Shevchenko, Aliev, Voronin, Shevchuk, Rotan, Seleznyov, Mykhalyk, Nazarenko, Butko, Goryainov.


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