Striker Fernando Torres believes Spain will be underdogs when take on World Champions Italy on Sunday.
Despite Luis Aragones’ side cruising into the last eight with a 100% record from their group games, they remain wary of an Azzurri outfit who remain on course for an international double.
“Spain is playing great and stylish football,” said the Liverpool striker.
“But Italy has kept faith with its style for years. Even if they are not that showy they are the favourites.
“But we are not afraid of them or their record.
“Italy are the current world champions and that’s not an accident. Titles do not just get won for no reason. You can maybe win once through a bit of luck but not as often as Italy have so you have to respect this team.
“Their history makes them favourites. They did not have a great opening phase but the same thing happened at the World Cup (in 2006) and they ended up winning it.”
A David Villa goal gave Spain a 1-0 friendly victory over Italy in March, a result which Torres believes should ensure his team-mates will not be intimidated by the prospect of facing the World Champions.
“We beat them in a friendly but now we have the chance to show what we are made of in an official competition We are convinced we can beat them,” he said
“This coming match is very important for us and for the nation.
“It’s important for the history of the Spanish squad and we are well aware of our capabilities. We can beat anyone.”