Spain, with Navarre Alberto Munariz After meeting in the final of the World Cup in Budapest, Italy will close their long campaign today (6:00 pm, Teledeporte) in the bronze medal match of the European Championship in Split (Croatia). (Gold for Spain) and in the semi-finals of the Strasbourg World League (Bronze for Spain).
Not the end of the season both teams were hoping for, but their defeat in the European semi-finals has left them in contention for bronze, with hosts Croatia and reigning champions Hungary battling it out for gold from 8.30pm.
Spain gave their biggest performance of the winter by beating Italy to win the gold medal at the World Cup in Budapest. There was also a Spanish victory in the first chapter.
A month later, Italy and Spain met again, in this case in the semi-finals of the World League in Strasbourg (France). It was a vendetta with a 9-8 victory for Italy, which was the precursor to the transalpine gold, the Spanish team took the bronze.
The Europeans have ended this tough summer three times with a clash between two teams that know each other perfectly.
Spain’s 10-8 loss to Hungary in the semi-finals put them out of contention for their first European gold in Atlanta ’96, which includes three World Cup titles and an Olympic gold.
Spanish captain Felipe Peron commented yesterday: “This is a top class sport, many favorites don’t win.” With World Cup gold and World League bronze, we now have to fight for European bronze. We want to be in the finals and we won’t be but we have to go for it. We have to forget about the defeat in Hungary and focus on Italy. It is arrogant for us to think that gold is the only medal we have to fight for. This year we signed two medals before the summer. Now, go for it all.