Former Juventus and Napoli striker Fernando Llorente weighed in on the upcoming Euro 2024 duel between Italy and Spain, highlighting the best parts of each team.

Both teams secured victory in their opening games at the European Championship in Germany, with the Azzurri edging out a tense 2-1 win over Albania and la Roja cruising to a confident 3-0 win over Croatia, putting both in contention for the top spot in Group B.

Italy’s clash with Spain could prove decisive for determining which team wins the group, which would set up a slightly easier match in the Round of 16. Luciano Spalletti’s side will be hopeful of their chances but aware of the dangers posed by the 2010 World Cup winners.

Llorente analyses Spain vs Italy

Speaking to La Stampa via TMW, Llorente first discussed the competitive nature of Italy’s group stage clash with Spain.

“Their levels aren’t distant. The Nations League has already shown that the difference is minimal. They’re two competitive national teams.”

The former Juventus striker was asked why there’s a lack of young stars in Italian football.

“For you guys, physicality is a key requirement, and it happens that young people have the stats and not the height, for you only physicality gives certainties. Maybe it also applies to non-sporting issues, but I don’t know.”

Llorente underlined his favourite part of the Spain national team.

“The number of solutions, their athletic condition, seeing them dribble with the ball at their feet.”

He also spoke about Italy’s best quality.

“Character. Reacting well to a goal conceded in the opening seconds isn’t a given and it’s something that you take with you. You guys are aware that you can do it.”

Llorente commented on which team impressed him most after the first round of games.

“After one match everything is fleeting still, but Germany are interesting.”

Finally, Llorente looked back at his two-year spell with Juventus.

“Everything, five titles in two seasons, a powerful group, a formative experience. Maybe it took me a while to understand how important that period was, but it’s definitely a factor that I’m clear about. Given the short time I spent there, I’m still surprised and grateful for the fans’ affection.

“Italy is special, in fact I’m in Napoli, partying, then we become enemies again for the duration of a match.”

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