Andrea Pirlo is certain Italy are looking for revenge against defending champions, Spain, when they meet in the second round of Euro2016.
Italy were thrashed 4-0 by Spain in the 2012 final of the continental showpiece. And even though, he wishes the fixture had come later on in the tournament, he backs his compatriots to emerge winners.
“It is too soon. Spain should have won their group and it could have been a great final, but it gives us a chance to exact revenge,” Pirlo, who controversially missed out on the squad, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I think [Spain] are [more worried about the game]. It isn’t easy to play against this Italy.
“They are the favourites because they still play the best football, but we also try to have our say now. It was almost impossible for us at Euro 2012.
“Nobody takes control of a match like Spain, but then your interpretation of good football matters. Is it better to be a solid side or one that entertains? The best is being a side that wins and they are winning everything at club level as well.”
Pirlo feels Italy’s 3-5-2 system could pose problems for Spain, citing Del Bosque’s team’s struggle to break down Czech Republic in their Group D opener.
“They aren’t used to being without the ball,” added the 37-year-old, who has won 116 caps. “They aren’t organised in defence and that makes them vulnerable.
“The 3-5-2 helps you cover the field and put pressure on their ball carrier. Their first match at Euro 2012 shows they struggle against that formation.”
Monday’s Paris showdown will be the 35th match between the nations, who have recorded 10 wins apiece.