Barcelona Captain, Andres Iniesta, says Spain will be contending with a tough Italy team in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 ongoing in France.
The Spanish midfielder acknowledged that the Italians are high-calibre opponent, but expressed hope that the clash would make his side a better team.
“They’re a powerful rival, a difficult rival, and a good game. It’s a game that will be useful to us if we are to keep developing and taking steps in these Euros,” he told Goal.
He added that the Azzurri are excellent players and have a great defensive block that has been well known for a long time.
“Contrary to what I hear people saying, they also improved a great deal in terms of possession and ball-handling.
“They really stepped up, which makes the game on Monday even more complex and our aspirations even more difficult,” Iniesta admitted.
Spain finished second in the Group D after a shock 2 – 1 loss to Croatia in their last game while Italy finished first despite 1 – 0 loss to the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.