Italy are not afraid of Spain, declares Marchisio

The Azzurri defeated La Furia Roja 2-1 last August in an international friendly and the Juventus midfielder insists they are capable of a repeat performance in Gdansk
 ITALY 10 26
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 SERBIA 10 15
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Claudio Marchisio says Italy have no reason to fear any country at Euro 2012, including Spain on the basis that they defeated the reigning world and European champions last summer.

The Azzurri go into their curtain raiser against Vicente Del Bosque's side on a low after slumping to a 3-0 defeat by Russia, while there are serious concerns over a defence which has lost Andrea Barzagli to injury and Domenico Criscito to the Scommessopoli match-fixing scandal.

However, Marchisio cannot understand the negativity currently surrounding the squad, as he maintained that Italy are entirely capable of repeating their heroics from last August, when they inflicted a 2-1 reverse on Spain.

"We are not afraid of anyone. We are Italy, a great country," the Juventus man told reporters at a press conference on Monday.

"We will face the champions of Europe, who play the most beautiful football in the world.

"But last summer we beat them after playing a great game and we need to play like we did then."

Given Italy also have Republic of Ireland and Croatia for company in Group C, there are those that believe that the Azzurri are heading for another embarrassing first-round elimination at a major international tournament, having failed to reach the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup.

But Marchisio countered: "We should not worry about that, but work calmly, without fear, or else it would be better not to go.

"We should not leave for the Euros fearing a repeat of what happened in the 2010 World Cup."

Italy's Group C clash with Spain in Gdansk is scheduled to kick off at 18:00CET.