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Italy v Spain: six unforgettable meetings

Just over three months after Italy ended Spain's eight-year reign as European champions, the teams meet again in Turin. UEFA.com takes a stroll down memory lane.

Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas embrace after the UEFA EURO 2012 final
Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas embrace after the UEFA EURO 2012 final ©Getty Images

Spain and Italy will renew one of football's great rivalries in Turin on Thursday evening.

The teams have met nine times at major tournaments, with Italy having the upper hand until Spain beat them on penalties on their way to winning UEFA EURO 2008, dishing out a footballing masterclass against the Azzurri in the Kyiv final four years later. Ahead of this summer's last-16 tie at UEFA EURO 2016, Giorgio Chiellini had said: "Spain have been our nemesis since 2008. I like the word 'revenge,' but we need to put it into practice." Antonio Conte's side obliged with a 2-0 win. UEFA.com picks out six meetings to remember.

1934 World Cup quarter-finals: Italy 1-1 Spain; Italy 1-0 Spain (replay) 
Their first clash at a major tournament was a bruising affair. Italy did most of the bruising. Luis Regueiro and Giovanni Ferrari exchanged goals in Florence, and the game remained 1-1 after extra time which meant a replay the following day. Spain, licking their wounds, were forced to make seven changes and Giuseppe Meazza soon put the hosts ahead. Spain then had two goals ruled out as they were eliminated.

EURO '88 group stage: Italy 1-0 Spain
A tactical battle supreme in Frankfurt, with a 19-year-old Italy defender playing a star role: enter Paolo Maldini. For 90 minutes he marked Spain's vaunted winger Míchel out of the game, paving the way for the only goal midway through the second half. Carlo Ancelotti threading a pass towards Alessandro Altobelli, whose dummy allowed Gianluca Vialli to strike low beyond Andoni Zubizarreta.

Italy beat Spain in 1988
Italy beat Spain in 1988©Getty Images

1994 World Cup quarter-finals: Italy 2-1 Spain
A simmering rivalry well and truly reached boiling point in Boston. Dino Baggio's long-range strike gave Italy the lead, but the real action came after the break. A nasty flying elbow from Mauro Tassotti caught Luis Enrique in the face – an incident bad enough to earn him an eight-match ban, but unpunished on the day. José Luis Caminero did make it 1-1 but two minutes from time, after a sensational end-to-end move, Roberto Baggio rounded Zubizarreta to fire in the winner.

UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final: Spain 0-0 Italy (Spain win 4-2 on pens) 
Spain had never beaten Italy in a competitive game prior to this breakthrough night in Vienna. "I saw nerves in the players," said Luis Aragonés. "My message over and over was that we were the better side and we'd go through." And they did, as Iker Casillas denied Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale from the spot, leaving Cesc Fàbregas to win it. The 74-year curse was broken.

Highlights of the UEFA EURO 2012 final
Highlights of the UEFA EURO 2012 final

UEFA EURO 2012 final: Spain 4-0 Italy
Spain had failed to truly sparkle in Poland and Ukraine, though it soon became clear in Kyiv that they had been saving the best for last. David Silva headed in the opener following a mesmeric passing exchange, then Jordi Alba scurried through to make it 2-0. Italy never recovered. After the break Fernando Torres scored for a second EURO final running then teed up fellow substitute Juan Mata to cap a Spain masterclass.

UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16: Italy 2-0 Spain
Having lost to Spain in the two previous EUROs, Italy were not short of motivation as the teams met again at the Stade de France, and this time it was the Azzurri who won the day, ending Spain's eight-year reign as European champions. Chiellini forced in the first goal from close range in the 33rd minute and, despite a superb performance from David de Gea in the Spain goal, Graziano Pellè made the game safe a minute into added time.

UEFA EURO 2016 highlights: Italy 2-0 Spain
UEFA EURO 2016 highlights: Italy 2-0 Spain