Finalists weigh each other up before Euro clash
By Mike Collett
KIEV (Reuters) - After three weeks of almost non-stop action, Euro 2012 paused for breath on Friday with the finalists assessing each others strengths and weaknesses ahead of Sunday's showpiece between holders Spain and old rivals Italy.
Spain's Sergio Ramos and Cesc Fabregas held media conference at Dynamo Kiev's home ground, while at their base camp in Krakow, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli held court, looking back at Thursday night's impressive 2-1 semi-final win over Germany.
In Warsaw, meanwhile, UEFA said Portugal's Pedro Proenca will take charge of the showpiece game in Kiev.
Proenca, 41, also refereed last month's Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea.
Not surprisingly, the news went largely unnoticed in Kiev's huge pedestrianized fan zone which was subdued on a gloriously sunny day in the Ukrainian capital, in stark contrast to the atmosphere expected at the nearby Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
Italian and Spanish fans not already in town, were beginning to arrive ahead of the eagerly awaited first ever final between the national teams of two countries whose clubs sides have dominated European competition for years.
Fabregas and Ramos agreed that the threat of Italy striker Mario Balotelli and the prospect of an unprecedented treble were obstacles they could overcome on Sunday. Continued...