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Spalletti: Italy prepared to 'scuff up beautiful suits' against Spain at Euro 2024

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Italy coach Luciano Spalletti says his players may have to scuff up their beautiful suits when they take on Spain in their European Championship match on Thursday.

Both teams made winning starts to Euro 2024 and their clash in Gelsenkirchen could determine which tops Group B, which also includes Croatia and Albania. Italy is the defending champion.

Spalletti said Wednesday that his team wears Giorgio Armani suits and sees no reason to change, that it will stay true to its identity against Spain, one of the tournament favorites.

“We need to show that same desire to try and dominate proceedings, to test ourselves against one of the best footballing philosophies in world football. When we go off the pitch, we need to make sure that we have no regrets,” Spalletti said. “It will certainly be a challenge. But we’ll go out there in our Sunday best. And we’ll be willing to actually scuff up our beautiful suits if required.”

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente made reference to Spalletti's “beautiful suit” comments in his own news conference later Wednesday.

“I think we are ready to play in the mud if we have to,” he said. “We can play anywhere — on the pitch, off the pitch, we are ready for everything. We know the kind of competitors they are.”

It will be the fifth consecutive tournament at which the old rivals have tussled, with each winning two of the previous meetings.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

The Associated Press