History of losing to Italy belongs in the past, says Villa

June 22nd, 2008 - 2:12 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 22 (DPA) Spain may not have beaten Euro 2008 quarter-final rivals Italy in a competitive match since 1920 but the tournament’s top goalscorer David Villa believes that the statistic will count for nothing when the two sides meet Sunday in Vienna. “We won’t be bringing our history tomorrow, we will be bringing our players. Nothing that has happened in the past will bring the teams any further,” the Valencia striker said Saturday at a press conference in the Ernst Happel stadium.

“This (statistic) isn’t going to help Italy or damage us. It’s in the past.”

Villa leads the goalscorers’ standings with four goals in three games, including a hat-trick against Russia, and, not surprisingly, the 26-year-old believes he is in the best condition of his life.

“I wasn’t in good shape at one stage during the season, but I have come here in the best physical shape of my career, which is helping me a lot,” he said.

“I’ve taken advantage of all my chances and it helps that Spain are creating a lot of them.”

Meanwhile, team-mate Carles Puyol singled out Luca Toni as the fulcrum of Italy’s attack even though the Bayern Munich striker hasn’t scored in over 400 minutes of football.

“He is a very important player. The team looks for him and he is the centre of their attack,” said Puyol.

“Italy are a very complicated rival. They don’t need to play well to win. Even if they only get a couple of chances they take advantage of them.”

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