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Spain, Italy meet again in heavyweight clash at UEFA Euro 2024

Spain Alvaro Morata Italy Alessandro Bastoni Alvaro Morata Alessandro Bastoni - The Canadian Press

In one of the most anticipated round-robin games of the tournament, Spain faces defending champion Italy for control of Group B at UEFA Euro 2024.

Catch Spain vs. Italy LIVE on Thursday with coverage getting underway at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. on TSN1/3/4, streaming on the TSN App and on

Both soccer powerhouses enter their second game of the competition off a win, though each took a different route to their three-point start.

Spain came out of the blocks and imposed their will on Croatia in an emphatic 3-0 victory at Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal each found the net before the referee blew the whistle for halftime, setting the three-time European Champions on course for victory.

Goalkeeper Unai Simon turned away a Croatia penalty in the second half to complete the clean sheet in the victory.

"This was a complete performance inspired by the competitive genes which run through this team,” said Spain coach Luis de la Fuente. “Both the young guys and the experienced ones who've won almost everything in football, but are still super hungry and committed."

Spain’s Lamine Yamal became the youngest player at a European Championship at 16 years, 338 days, breaking the mark set by 17 year, 246 day old Kacper Kozłowski of Poland at UEFA Euro 2020.

"You could choose any of my players to praise today,” said de la Fuente. “They are confident, they believe in what we can achieve, and the superstars put themselves at the service of the team.”

Italy also passed their first test at UEFA Euro 2024, but had to come from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Albania.

In the history of the competition, no team has ever gone behind faster than Italy did when they conceded the opening marker just 23 seconds into the contest.

Federico Dimarco came up short on a throw in the defensive end and Nedim Bajrami pounced to stun the Italian fans in Dortmund and around the world.

The reigning champions were not behind for long as Alessandro Bastoni headed in an equalizer in the 11th minute, followed by a strike from Nicolo Barella which put Italy ahead for good in the 16th minute.

Albania would muster one golden chance late in the second half, but Italy would survive and leave with the win.

"Ever since I started coaching, I've been told what matters is winning,” said Italy coach Luciano Spalletti. “No, what matters is playing well. In order for us to win Euro 2024 we have to play good football. We were a bit deep in the first half, and it allowed Albania to use their physicality, to get it into the mixer. We have to keep faith in our style – that's the route forward."

Spain and Italy have met at every European Championship since 2008, including playing in the final of UEFA Euro 2012.

Spain defeated Italy 4-0 in that championship match at Olympic Stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine to defend their title and win their third consecutive major tournament.

The teams also had a group stage clash in 2012 which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Spain eliminated Italy at the quarter-final stage in 2008 on penalties after a scoreless draw

Italy returned the favour in 2016, defeating Spain 2-0 to end their quest for three consecutive titles.

At the 2020 tournament, Italy toppled Spain on penalties in the semifinal on their way to winning their second championship.