Italy, the World Cup champs, try to be the fourth team in the quarterfinals to knock out a group winner at Euro 2008, when they play the continent's traditional underachiever, Spain in a match in Vienna at 11:45 am PT.
Spain won all three of its Group D matches. The Spaniards routed Russia 4-1, edged Sweden 2-1, and then beat Greece while playing its second string 2-1.
Italy had rocky road to the quarterfinals. The Netherlands beat Italy 3-0 to start the tournament. Then the Italians finagled a 1-1 tie against Romania thanks to a big PK save from Gianluigi Buffon. Italy then got a quarterfinal berth when they beat France 2-0 while Romania lost to the Netherlands.
The Spanish won the tournament once, back in 1964 and have reached the final only once since then, back in 1988 when they lost to France.
Italy, although it has won four World Cups, has only won the Euro once and that was in 1968.
Spain and Italy have played each other 27 times. Italy leads 9-8-10, but a lot of the matches have been friendlies. Of matches that had something on the line, the last time the Spanish beat the Italians was in the 1920 Olympics. Since then it's been a 5-0-3 run for Italy.
Remember when in Vienna, stop by the sweets shop opened by the family of the late Red Sox reliever Dick Radatz. They're monstroulsly good.