Italy vs Spain

Classic Clashes: Italy vs Spain’s Best Moments in Football

On Thursday night Italy and Spain square off in the biggest match of Euro 2024 so, Luciano Spalletti’s title holders and three-time champions La Roja go head-to-head in what has become a modern classic of international football.

Here, are the most memorable clashes as the two sides prepare to do battle for the fifth time.

USA ’94: Baggio’s Goal Sends Spain Packing

USA '94: Baggio's Goal Sends Spain Packing
Credits- Barron’s

Few Italian players have lit up the public and one such talent is Roberto Baggio, whose 1994 World Cup performance was decisive with a goal in a quarter-final battle with Spain.

After Dino Baggio gave the Italians the lead with a rocket of a shot in the 25th minute in Foxborough, Jose Luis Caminero’s deflected strike made the score all square.

With extra time match lurking in the corner the Divine Ponytail, fired Italy into the last four by collecting Giuseppe Signori’s lofted pass, dribbling around Andoni Zubizarreta, and drilling home a perfect strike.

However, all did not go well as Baggio’s remarkable tournament was overshadowed by the missed penalty in the final against Brazil that cost Azzurri the World Cup.

Casillas Outshines Buffon in Titan Showdown

Two years after winning the World Cup in penalties against France, it was Italy’s turn to taste heartbreak as they fell short versus Spain in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals.

Casillas Outshines Buffon in Titan Showdown
Credits- UEFA

Iker Casillas became eventual tournament winners with Spain after a spot-kick victory at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna against Gianluigi Buffon’s Italy after gruelling match which finished goalless.

Moreover, Casillas and Buffon were considered the two best goalkeepers in the world at the time, with both captaining their respective national teams.

Real Madrid icon Casillas stopped attempts from Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale, while Buffon failed to make a single Spanish penalty save as Luis Aragones’ side progressed and went on to dominate international football for the next four years.

Also Read: Spain vs Italy Preview, Prediction, Lineups and Team News | Euro 2024

Italy Swept Away by Tiki-Taka

Spain got the better of Italy again four years later as they mastered the craft of tiki-taka football that made La Roja the first team ever to retain a European Championship title.

Italy Swept Away by Tiki-Taka
Credits- Eurosport

Already reigning world champions, Spain confirmed their status as a dominant force in world football by thumping an Italy 4-0 team that had Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Pirlo, and an inspired Mario Balotelli in a one-sided final.

Barcelona midfield trio Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets passed their way through teams and it turned out to be that generation’s last hurrah on the international stage, as Spain won the Euros while only conceding one goal in open play.

Donnarumma comes up big to rescue Italy.

Donnarumma comes up big to rescue Italy.
Credits- Getty

Gianluigi Donnarumma got some sweet revenge for Buffon three years ago when his saves sent Italy past Spain into the Euro 2020 final.

Penalties became a common deciding ground between the two sides as Alvaro Morata’s strike with 10 minutes remaining canceled out Federico Chiesa’s brilliant opener.

However, Donnarumma had the final say as he saved Dani Olmo’s opening penalty before denying Morata, allowing Jorginho to finish it off.

Also Read: Top Assists at UEFA Euro 2024: List of Players With Most Assists After Round 1