Giorgio Chiellini has dismissed the suggestion that Italy should be worried of what is awaiting them in Gdansk on Sunday evening, insisting that it is Spain who should be "scared" of the Azzurri.
The Azzurri's preparations for their Euro 2012 opener have been far from ideal, given the Scommessopoli investigation has deprived them of the services of first-choice left-back Domenico Criscito and injury has ruled defender Andrea Barzagli out of the group stages. There is also the fact that they are going into the tournament on the back of three successive friendly defeats.
However, Chiellini has revealed that Cesare Prandelli's men have been lifted by the fantastic support they have received since arriving in Poland and that facing La Roja, the reigning world and European champions, holds no fear for the Azzurri.
"They should be scared of us," the versatile Juventus defender, who had been an injury doubt for the game, told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.
"The 10,000 who attended our training session [Tuesday] evening have given us new enthusiasm after a week that was not easy easy for us because of the many more or less legitimate attacks that we suffered.
"But we are good at isolating ourselves and thinking only of the pitch. I'm feeling good and have been training with the rest of the group for a few days. There is a great desire to start this adventure."
Indeed, Chiellini believes that the Euros should now be regarded as the pinnacle of international competition.
"The game against Spain is maybe proof that the European Championship is more difficult than the World Cup."
Italy's Group C clash with Vicente del Bosque's side will kick off at 18:00CET.