Italia v España -The Convivial Battle of the Peninsulas-

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:38 pm

On August the 10th, San Nicola stadio in Bari will be a friendly match between two nations who with more then affable relations, but two different ideas and philosophies of football.

What is the history between the two? Well in terms of history both countries have always had friendly relations as this was further solidified after the unification of Italia in the 19th century. In the Early modern period southern and insular Italia was under Spanish control, as the Crown of Aragon was its previous control. The long period of spanish domination left set influence in the southern Italian dialects.

“During the Spanish civil war, the Corps of Volunteer Troops, a fascist expeditionary force from Italy, supported the Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco. It's estimated that around 75,000 Italians”
Today, its common to see Italians in Espana and vice versa in each other’s countries as despite the differences in footballing philosophy, the two countries hold each other in high regard through the strong political, cultural and historical connection between the two as the inhabitants of the countries are descendants from the Roman empire and overall have all together identical gene pool. This friendship has remained strong and comradely for centuries as the two countries have been involved heavily in trade and assistance with each other and taken as a whole a mutual respect and friendship.

Now the history between their international football teams? I’ll provide you with the results:
1920 Summer Olympics: 2-0 Espana
1934 World Cup: First Match 1-1 Replay: 1-0 Italia
Euro 1980: 0-0 Draw
And the Classic: 2-0 Italia
Friendly 2008: 1-0 Espana
Euro 2008: 1-1 as Espana win on penalties
Overall, Spain has won 9 matches against Italy, drawn 10 and lost 9 although 2 of Espana’s wins were friendlies. On the whole, Italia has a superior record to Espana as although La Furia Roja has been impressive considering their lack of pedigree before their recent success.

In terms of footballing philosophies, this is where the countries differ as Espana in league and country has always prioritized poetic, possessive, and exquisitely graceful football that is ultra attacking and focuses on also being pleasing to the eye yet functionally in rhythms. The Spanish youths whether Basque, Catalan, or Asturian all have differences in philosophy and style yet all focus on pure technical development of their students. Espana’s football is like watching a orchestra change its tempo and flow or like a tenor playfully transferring his voice octave to octave. Unfortunately, Espana has had much bad luck due to inner turmoil and conflict within its country for rights and freedom which had always hindered its progress as the truly uniting the team to work together and win was always a struggle as they many a times were labeled chokers due to poor mentality lack of clutch. Thankfully, we have overturned that title.

Italia? The Italians have a meticulous focus on detail, tact, strategy, wit and intelligence. The Italians are historically known to outsmart their oppnenents as their sheer calculative tactics within the game has historically put fear into the hearts of their opponents as the oppositions were always left outsmarted, outwitted and many a times outplayed by the Azzuri. This is due to the fact that Italian youth systems and schools of thought first and foremost focus on the intellectual and mental aspect at an early age of Italian football students and aspiring coaches and then move on their true footballing skills (which is the case why Italians are generally late bloomers). It is a common misconception that Italians play boring whereas this has spurned from English distaste of Italian football and ignorance due to the fact that Italian football plays at a lower tempo then other leagues. Yet, the explanation behind this is that Italians always prefer to use their wits and technical adeptness, as the players like to think before an act in any form. This explains the lower tempo as their football is often labeled as the thinking mans football as examples are defenders who possess unrivalled reading and awareness rather then focus on last ditch tackles pace with strength. Another misconception is that Italians are defensive-minded as this is another myth spurned from English distaste due to Italian’s infamous defenses. The truth in explanation is that Italians play attacking yet prefer to focus more on their defense then other schools of thought as their detailed focus into their defense gives the illusion to others that Italians “park the bus” or are defensive whereas the team has produced many of times, attractive teams over the century as Sciacca or Wiggles will provide an apt example. The conclusion simply is that their glorious defenses make people overlook their pioneering to attacking in football. Although Italians focus heavily on strategy and tactics, this is not to say that this is their only forte is in their intelligence as the focus on their youth is equally as important on their technical astuteness as physical play is not of importance in the peninsula. Examples of this are their pioneering efforts in football which have produced legends of technical perfection as in Italia compared to Espana who focus on passing, chemistry and specified development of individual skill, Italia’s technical priorities are more on versatility(eg;use of both feet,adaptabilty), development of the 3rd order thoughts like prediction and vision and of course like Espana, Perfection.

Although a difference between accolades and trophies, both teams, like Netherlands and Brazil are pioneers in the world of football as Espana with its media and centro campistas along with arietes and attractive philosophy and Italia with its managerial tactics, defenses, fantasisti, Registas and trequartistas.

I don’t want to write my memoirs (which I’ve probably repeated a 1000 times) here but it is rare I get to see 2 nations of my nationality face off as the feelings are mixed.
You see, I was born and grew up with a memorable in Brescia to an Italian mother and a Spanish/Basque father who family business is branched in Brescia and moved to Espana (Bilbao) when I was approaching 9 years old. Yes, I learned and studied the history of Italian football and Gli Azzuri with my Milan supporting maternal family, but my father who was a man of strong value, pride and principle never hesitated and always reminded me of my Basque roots as I also used to watch Spanish football and the rather frustrating La Furia Roja with him whether on vacation in Espana or in Brescia, so I learned to cherish and identify with both (and rather forcefully by my father :p). We were known as the “Spagnoli around our neighborhood Sadly, after the untimely death of my mother, my father and I moved back to his home in Basque Country as I have happily been there since and only truly learned to experience, cherish and connect with my paternal heritage in terms of country and football. My dilemma? Although I grew up watching the Azzuri, yet I equally was into the Spanish national team (not so much the league as compared to serie a) as I am now seeing both my countries facing off once again after the conflict of emotions that was the infamous Euro 2008 match. If you are guessing,despite the Basque snobbery on their own flag I learned to equally respect and love Spanish flag as our patience and frustration was rewarded in 2008 onwards. So in this context I possess equal allegiance to the countries.
What comes out of this rather long memoir? My hope is that the Azzuri can take something out of this match and use it as a benchmark of how far they have come since post-lippi and truly try to test themselves as despite the complacent and experimental Ireland showing, the last time they did try to test themselves was 1-1 draw against Germany in Dortmund in which Italia was arguably better based on play and controversial ref decisions (Let it be you germans) as most on this forum forget that superb and flowing performance by the Azzuri as they were lucky not to get a win. So, in that respect, I dearly hope Espana do not destroy Italy so that the Azzuri can rediscover themselves within the match and use this to experiment with their progress. Prandelli is a highly underrated coach who is known for his attacking and lightning fast football along with superb tactics as Italia needs to take full advantage of this.
Furia Roja? Not much to be said as you all know all too much about them. I only hope for Espana that Del God (Bosque) uses this opportunity to experiment more with the untested such as Mata, Iriola, Monreal, Javi, Llorente, and Santi.
Callups:
Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli) Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain);
Defenders: Balzaretti (Palermo), Bonucci (Juventus) Cassani (Palermo), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino), Ranocchia (Inter);
Midfielders: Aquilani (Liverpool), De Rossi (Roma), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Inter), Nocerino (Palermo), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pirlo (Juventus);
Forwards: Balotelli (Manchester City), Cassano (Milan), Giovinco (Parma), Pazzini (Inter), Rossi (Villarreal).

Rather disappointed that none of the upcoming and impressive youth was not called up such as Fabrini, Antonelli, Di Silvestre, Abate, Verdi, Pasquato, PDC, Giandonato, Marrone, Poli, and I could name countless others. And why are guys like Nocerino and Motta in there? One is an oriundo and the other is overrated. This match should’ve been taken more to experiment as I understand Prandelli has stated this use for the match yet I always have disliked some of his questionable choices despite his brilliance.


Callups:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Liverpool).
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos* (Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Andoni Iraola (Athletic Bilbao).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao).
Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City), David Villa (Barcelona), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Juan Mata (Valencia).

Once again VDB seems to be calling up a squad like it’s a official match. Where is Ruiz, Vila, Callejon, Angel, Munian, Morata, Guita,

Now to more about the match:

Stadio San Nicola Capacity: (60,000)

Italia v España -The Convivial Battle of the Peninsulas- Stadio

Italia v España -The Convivial Battle of the Peninsulas- Coreografia_curva_nord

My preferred line-up(mostly based on experimentation:

Italia: 4-3-1-2
Sirugu
Maggio-Bonnuci-Cheillini-Criscito
Marchisio-De Rossi-Pirlo
-Cassano-
Pazzo-Rossi
Subs: Rannochia, Palombo/Aquilani, Balotelli/Giovinco

Espana: 4-3-3
Reina
Monreal-Iraola-Pique-Arbeloa
Alcantara-Xabi-Javi
Silva-Llorente-Mata
Subs: Valdes, Busquets, Santi.

A lot of room to be desired as I posted here the line-up that should be used for experimentation and exploring new prospects unfortunately both managers choose to go the experienced route this time around.

As for the match? I’m not going to lay down a full tactical managerial playbook here as its simple; Espana will continue to play its tiki taka and possession football so Prandelli’s ultra attacking and free flowing style will not work here as he will have to delve further more into strategy. As Espana possess and pass with their usual chemistry, Italia will have to pressure and constantly press the Spanish midfield to gain repossession of the ball as Prandelli has acknowledged this. The two italian forwards must should be given a free role and roam within the Spanish midfield to take opportunities. A lightening fast counter-attacking system will be needed to deploy as Italia will need to anticipate their timing of CT in order to execute the usually concentration lapsed and CT prone Spanish mid. Both Maggio and Criscito are nearly WBs and need to press forward whereas the Juve Cb pairing must be disciplined and hang back. The midfield choice should be physical and with one creator (pirlo) as the Spaniards can be overwhelmed by the physical, but technically astute de rossi and Marchisio wilst protecting Pirlo to create whereas the superb finisher Pazzo and versatile Rossi are more than good enough to handle themselves. But, discipline and time is critical here as the Italian midfield is of utmost importance and will probably be smarter then to chase shadows, instead relying on their wits as they usually do.

Espana? Not much to talk about here as we all know their plan compared to a brand new Prandelli lead Italian side. Obviously both the line-ups are my preference based on discovering new prospects rather then winning but with the Spanish line-up its more than that here.

The backline should be dynamic but disciplined whereas Thaigo will linking up with a wide Silva as Xabi and Javi will provide the silk and steel to prevent anything unpredictable from the Italians as Xabi should create whereas Javi providing the reconnaissance to the backline. Mata is at his natural position whereas Llorente I chose for obvious reasons as he deserves more.


Well here it is as I apologize for the overly-long bio as I just wanted to express my story along with the slight conflict of allegiances I faced when it comes to 2 of my nationalities facing off.

Anways, post your own thoughts and opinions.

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Last edited by Arquitecto on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Luca Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:49 pm

My preferred line-up(mostly based on experimentation:

Italia: 4-3-1-2
Sirugu
Maggio-Bonnuci-Cheillini-Criscito
Marchisio-De Rossi-Pirlo
-Cassano-
Pazzo-Rossi
Subs: Rannochia, Palombo/Aquilani, Balotelli/Giovinco

Very nice team except I would have Buffon in net

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:56 pm

Luca wrote:My preferred line-up(mostly based on experimentation:

Italia: 4-3-1-2
Sirugu
Maggio-Bonnuci-Cheillini-Criscito
Marchisio-De Rossi-Pirlo
-Cassano-
Pazzo-Rossi
Subs: Rannochia, Palombo/Aquilani, Balotelli/Giovinco

Very nice team except I would have Buffon in net

Luca, my preference is based on the reason for experimenting. Buffon is already proven and will play in the Euros as Sirugu is one of our best prospects and needs to be tested against the spanish team.
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Post by Super_Floren Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:57 pm

Wow, Italy squad sucks big time.....I dont know what happened in this country, they used to be a reference.
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Post by The Madrid One Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:00 pm

Super_Floren wrote:Wow, Italy squad sucks big time.....I dont know what happened in this country, they used to be a reference.
+ 1 :coffee:
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Post by Babun Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:00 pm

Your post is too long for late hour (in Germany). In short, Italy will win against Spain Very Happy
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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:01 pm

I would like to hear more constructive posts.
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Post by The Madrid One Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:01 pm

Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
you mean read Razz

spain will win because italy sucks Cool
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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:03 pm

The Madrid One wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
you mean read Razz

spain will win because italy sucks Cool

Typo.

And yes, your showing your age perfectly TMO
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Post by pUsHa Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:03 pm

Italy FTW ..... Barca is loosing frendlies so we certainly know who's gonna win this game Cool
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Post by Super_Floren Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:04 pm

The Madrid One wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
you mean read Razz

spain will win because italy sucks Cool
Well, I think this will be a tie. Spain doesnt try a lot in exhibition matches, Xavi is out, and Italy needs to do something different, its played in Italy....
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Post by Babun Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:06 pm

Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
The tiki taka tactics are perfect against physical, brainless sides (lack of tactics, not stupid). Italy struggles against fast paced sides. In Spain, anyone hardly moves without the ball, they accelerate only in short distances then pass again. Italy never had problems with a proper counter attack tactic, Serie A went bad but all of them know how to behave in a defensive formation. Add to that they have Rossi and Balotelli, they don't ask twice before scoring. Puyol is injured Very Happy
All in all, 0-0 or Italy will win. You have to outrun them to break their defense, Spain doesn't have a fit Torres. By the way, the game will be extremly boring for neutrals. Italy: 5-3-2-1, Spain: 4-5-1
Any more constructive ? Very Happy


Last edited by babun1024 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by McLewis Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:06 pm

TMO,

Let's not troll, please.
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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:11 pm

babun1024 wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
The tiki taka tactics are perfect against physical, brainless sides (lack of tactics, not stupid). Italy struggles against fast paced sides. In Spain, anyone hardly moves without the ball, they accelerate only in short distances then pass again. Italy never had problems with a proper counter attack tactic, Serie A went bad but all of them know how to behave in a defensive formation. Add to that they have Rossi and Balotelli, they don't ask twice before scoring. Puyol is injured Very Happy
All in all, 0-0 or Italy will win. You have to outrun them to break their defense, Spain doesn't have a fit Torres. By the way, the game will be extremly boring for neutrals. Italy: 5-3-2-1, Spain: 4-5-1
Any more constructive ? Very Happy

LOL... Wasn't refering to you Babun Smile

I don't think Italy will go for such a defensive as Prandelli prefers the 4312 and the 4321s as for the spanish team, a 451 would be to rigid as the standard 433 would do better IMO. Pace? Italia have the youth this time around as Lippi's team would give another impression.

But nonetheless a good comprehensive idea. thanks.
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Post by Babun Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:15 pm

Arquitecto wrote:
babun1024 wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
The tiki taka tactics are perfect against physical, brainless sides (lack of tactics, not stupid). Italy struggles against fast paced sides. In Spain, anyone hardly moves without the ball, they accelerate only in short distances then pass again. Italy never had problems with a proper counter attack tactic, Serie A went bad but all of them know how to behave in a defensive formation. Add to that they have Rossi and Balotelli, they don't ask twice before scoring. Puyol is injured Very Happy
All in all, 0-0 or Italy will win. You have to outrun them to break their defense, Spain doesn't have a fit Torres. By the way, the game will be extremly boring for neutrals. Italy: 5-3-2-1, Spain: 4-5-1
Any more constructive ? Very Happy

LOL... Wasn't refering to you Babun Smile

I don't think Italy will go for such a defensive as Prandelli prefers the 4312 and the 4321s as for the spanish team, a 451 would be to rigid as the standard 433 would do better IMO. Pace? Italia have the youth this time around as Lippi's team would give another impression.

But nonetheless a good comprehensive idea. thanks.
Spain plays 4-3-3 on paper, the wide men don't act as wingers unless Navas is on the field so 4-5-1 Very Happy
5-3-2-1 can be vicious on counter, not that defensive at all.Pirlo deep,a big guy as lone CF and Balotelli+Rossi behind him, not funny Very Happy
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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:19 pm

babun1024 wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:
babun1024 wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:I would like to hear more constructive posts.
The tiki taka tactics are perfect against physical, brainless sides (lack of tactics, not stupid). Italy struggles against fast paced sides. In Spain, anyone hardly moves without the ball, they accelerate only in short distances then pass again. Italy never had problems with a proper counter attack tactic, Serie A went bad but all of them know how to behave in a defensive formation. Add to that they have Rossi and Balotelli, they don't ask twice before scoring. Puyol is injured Very Happy
All in all, 0-0 or Italy will win. You have to outrun them to break their defense, Spain doesn't have a fit Torres. By the way, the game will be extremly boring for neutrals. Italy: 5-3-2-1, Spain: 4-5-1
Any more constructive ? Very Happy

LOL... Wasn't refering to you Babun Smile

I don't think Italy will go for such a defensive as Prandelli prefers the 4312 and the 4321s as for the spanish team, a 451 would be to rigid as the standard 433 would do better IMO. Pace? Italia have the youth this time around as Lippi's team would give another impression.

But nonetheless a good comprehensive idea. thanks.
Spain plays 4-3-3 on paper, the wide men don't act as wingers unless Navas is on the field so 4-5-1 Very Happy
5-3-2-1 can be vicious on counter, not that defensive at all.Pirlo deep,a big guy as lone CF and Balotelli+Rossi behind him, not funny Very Happy

You bring a good point here as although both teams are so fluid and dynamic that formations are interchanging throughout the game similar to Dalglish's Liverpool.

Good points as I'll be looking forward to the tactical battle here.
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Post by Guest Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:42 pm

Am I actually reading Italy sucks posts? LOOOOOLL

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:44 pm

sciacca wrote:Am I actually reading Italy sucks posts? LOOOOOLL

Let it be Sciacca.

Anyways your thoughts?
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Post by Guest Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:47 pm

Arquitecto wrote:
sciacca wrote:Am I actually reading Italy sucks posts? LOOOOOLL

Let it be Sciacca.

Anyways your thoughts?

Hmm, what's there to say. First off, great read. Though I put many of my thoughts in other topic, i'm not in the certain mood to repeat myself.

For your formation, I like it a lot, though Pirlo will be used in the middle rather than on the side. Another problem, is that though I want to see Cassano as the TQ, it just won't happen as he is still not fit enough sadly...

As for the outcome, I hope for a win, though I see a tie coming here. Apperently Italy are going to go with a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, all I can say is the guaranteed roles for the 2 is Cassano and Rossi and Pazzini and Balotelli as back ups.

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:50 pm

sciacca wrote:
Arquitecto wrote:
sciacca wrote:Am I actually reading Italy sucks posts? LOOOOOLL

Let it be Sciacca.

Anyways your thoughts?

Hmm, what's there to say. First off, great read. Though I put many of my thoughts in other topic, i'm not in the certain mood to repeat myself.

For your formation, I like it a lot, though Pirlo will be used in the middle rather than on the side. Another problem, is that though I want to see Cassano as the TQ, it just won't happen as he is still not fit enough sadly...

As for the outcome, I hope for a win, though I see a tie coming here. Apperently Italy are going to go with a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, all I can say is the guaranteed roles for the 2 is Cassano and Rossi and Pazzini and Balotelli as back ups.

Thanks buddy


I'd prefer the 4312 but good idea nonetheless.

Cassano? For all the news on his weight critiscism, Prandelli has stated he has lost more the 3.5 KGs in pre-season training!! a good sign for Azzuri and Milan.
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Post by Guest Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:52 pm

Super_Floren wrote:Wow, Italy squad sucks big time.....I dont know what happened in this country, they used to be a reference.

I know eh? Who knew that we sucked so much, Germany hasn't been able to beat us... Who knew that we are first place in our qualifying group and unbeaten in it... Wow, who knew we can be so biased with the 2010 World Cup, and yet not realize this is a diverse squad. Who knew from 16th we'd reach 6th in the Fifa Rankings, and make it to Pot 1 for the drawing in a span of a year. Oh dear, Italy truly does suck...

/facepalm

Either you're trolling, biased or you have no knowledge by any means.

:coffee:

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Post by Guest Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:54 pm

Thanks buddy


I'd prefer the 4312 but good idea nonetheless.

Cassano? For all the news on his weight critiscism, Prandelli has stated he has lost more the 3.5 KGs in pre-season training!! a good sign for Azzuri and Milan.

Correction, I wrote 4-3-3, I meant to say 4-3-1-2. And I agree, as I favor that formation.

Yes, but yet he is still not playing as a starter for Milan and he's not still capable of doing it in my opinion, he needs to lose more. But, apperently the this is what we should see...

Buffon

Maggio Ranocchia Chiellini Balzaretti

Montolivo Pirlo De Rossi

Aquilani

Cassano Rossi

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Post by wigglesworth Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:56 pm

Very good review of the background and the characteristics of the two teams. The review of the Spain of today is dead on, the enigma is Prandelli's Italy as I don't think Prandelli has yet formed an opinion as to how any of the various teams he has selected should play. He has been selecting many different teams even for the Euro qualifications, he is right in experimenting, but it makes it hard to predict how this team will play.

While an oriundo, Motta is a real strength in midfield. He is big, strong and skilled. Only De Rossi fills that role and De Rossi could be absent depending on where his head is at.
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Post by Guest Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:01 am

wigglesworth wrote:Very good review of the background and the characteristics of the two teams. The review of the Spain of today is dead on, the enigma is Prandelli's Italy as I don't think Prandelli has yet formed an opinion as to how any of the various teams he has selected should play. He has been selecting many different teams even for the Euro qualifications, he is right in experimenting, but it makes it hard to predict how this team will play.

While an oriundo, Motta is a real strength in midfield. He is big, strong and skilled. Only De Rossi fills that role and De Rossi could be absent depending on where his head is at.

Agreed. But I think Prandelli has already decided on the opinion on how they should play, you see he is trying to adopt tactics within Ball possession with his favored formation in a 4-3-1-2, with short passes, Pirlo as the deep play maker(Regista) and etc... He's used it since the Germany game, though we played more defensively rather than attacking, and we are going to do the same. Prandelli made it clear in his press conference is that he wants to see personality, and he wants us to fight and pressure them harder as they like playing with the ball more. Its being speculated on MediaSet that Prandelli may use a 4-4-2, but RAI claimes he will use a 4-4-2. As for the starters, sorry to say but, the midfield looks set according to recent reports from today and coverciano.

Montolivo - Pirlo - De Rossi


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Post by Albiceleste Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:07 am

Predicting a 2-1 for Spain a bit ambitious, it will probably end scoreless Razz

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