And so they meet again at Euro 2012.

This time, however, Spain and Italy are playing for the European Championship and a place in the history books.

The Mediterranean rivals meet Sunday in Kiev's Olympic Stadium, three weeks after they drew 1-1 in their opening match of the tournament's group stage.

As the defending champion and World Cup holder, Spain is bidding to win a third straight major title, cementing its place as one of the greatest national teams. It would also match Germany's record of three European Championship titles.

Only the unpredictable Mario Balotelli and a surprising Italy team - orchestrated by Andrea Pirlo - stand between Spain and what many see as its destiny.