Marchisio: Spain is strong, but we know how to beat it

Azzurri midfielder insists his side will be able to overcome La Roja in Sunday's showpiece after holding them to a 1-1 draw in their group stage opener.
Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio has insisted that the Azzurri have the know-how to beat Spain in Sunday's Euro 2012 final.

The two sides opened their campaigns in Poland and Ukraine against each other with a 1-1 draw and the Juventus man believes that match stands Italy in good stead.

"Spain is an extremely strong team," he told "But we already faced them in the group stage and we know how to beat them, I will not say how, but you'll see on the pitch."
Cesare Prandelli's men have surprised some by making the final and Marchisio believes that pre-tournament doubts only served to make the squad more determined to succeed.

He continued: "I think nobody expected us to play as we have done. We were strongly criticized before the tournament, after losing to Russia, and after that even in the tournament when we drew against Croatia. What we were asking was that there was a balance in the press coverage of our team, we knew that all was not well, but we wanted the people to trust us.

"But that also served to unite the group in this tournament and that was in the end the great strength of this team and since then we have transformed these criticisms into praise."

The side also went into Euro 2012 on the back of the Scommessopoli investigation that saw squad member Domenico Criscito arrested and subsequently dropped from the squad and the Juventus player insisted that the Azzurri were determined to ignore the situation.
"What we tried was to concentrate on the tournament because the last thing we wanted was the environment within the group to rot," he explained. "After two years of great sacrifice, it would have been a shame if that happened, and in that sense the lads have been fantastic. And well, we are a bit used to those scandals before the big competitions, it is not the first time and we always show the character, that's very typical of Italians."
The midfielder revealed the squad had not been fully confident at the start of the tournament but the side had been buoyed by its qualification from Group C and then the quarterfinal win over England.

"Confidence has been increasing gradually," Marchisio explained. "One game at time, tournaments the size of the Euro tend to change in minutes. And so it happened to us, we suffered in the group stage in the match against Ireland but then we qualified and that changed everything.

"That freed us so we could start playing with the confidence we needed. Against England we won on penalties, but we dominated the match and then against Germany played very well, increasingly convinced that we could achieve our goal."

Follow GOAL.COM USA on