* Matches between the rivals are traditionally close with Italy holding a narrow edge of eight wins to seven with 10 draws. The two have met in tournament finals no less than six times before and Spain have never won in regulation time. However, they did defeat Italy on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 on their way to the title.
* Spain and Italy once played each other on successive days in the World Cup. At the 1934 finals in Italy, long before penalty shootouts were dreamed up, the two drew 1-1 in Florence and had to replay the next day in the same city. Italy won 1-0 and went on to become world champions for the first time.
* Spain, European and world champions, have the chance of several records in this tournament. They could become the first team to retain the European title and the first to win three major finals in a row after their Euro 2008 success in Austria and Switzerland and their World Cup win in South Africa two years ago. They could also equal Germany's record of three European championship titles.
* Since their surprise 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their first World Cup group game two years ago, Spain have embarked on a record 14 successive victories in competitive matches - six at the World Cup and eight in the Euro qualifiers. Since the start of 2007 Spain's record in World Cup and Euro competition is startling - in 40 games they have won 37, drawn two and lost only once.
* Italy are one of only four teams to have beaten Spain since they won the World Cup. They beat the Spaniards 2-1 in a friendly in Bari last August. The three other teams to beat Spain were Argentina, Portugal and England.
* Italy go into the tournament on the back of three successive losses in friendlies without scoring a goal. Curiously, their last goal was scored in Poland when they beat the Poles 2-0 in Wroclaw last November.
9/03/24 Fr Italy 0 Spain 0 Milan
14/06/25 Fr Spain 1 Italy 0 Valencia
29/05/27 Fr Italy 2 Spain 0 Bologna
22/04/28 Fr Spain 1 Italy 1 Gijon
22/06/30 Fr Italy 2 Spain 3 Bologna
19/04/31 Fr Spain 0 Italy 0 Bilbao
31/05/34 WCF Italy 1 Spain 1 Florence
1/06/34 WCF Italy 1 Spain 0 Florence
19/04/42 Fr Italy 4 Spain 0 Milan
27/03/49 Fr Spain 1 Italy 3 Madrid
28/02/59 Fr Italy 1 Spain 1 Rome
13/03/60 Fr Spain 3 Italy 1 Barcelona
21/02/70 Fr Spain 2 Italy 2 Madrid
20/02/71 Fr Italy 1 Spain 2 Cagliari
25/01/78 Fr Spain 2 Italy 1 Madrid
21/12/78 Fr Italy 1 Spain 0 Rome
12/06/80 ECF Italy 0 Spain 0 Milan
14/06/88 ECF Italy 1 Spain 0 Frankfurt
9/07/94 WCF Italy 2 Spain 1 Boston
18/11/98 Fr Italy 2 Spain 2 Salerno
29/03/00 Fr Spain 2 Italy 0 Barcelona
28/04/04 Fr Italy 1 Spain 1 Genoa
26/03/08 Fr Spain 1 Italy 0 Elche
22/06/08 ECF Spain 0 Italy 0 Vienna
(Spain won on penalties)
10/08/11 Fr Italy 2 Spain 1 Bari
Head to head
Italy 8 wins
Spain 7 wins
Key: WCF - World Cup finals, ECF = European Championship finals, Fr = Friendly