Conte wants Italy to be extraordinary against Spain in game of 'no tomorrow'

Italy coach Antonio Conte has urged his players to find something extraordinary in order to beat Spain in their Euro 2016 round of 16 match in a game of "no tomorrow" on Monday.

The Italians topped Group E following wins against Belgium and Sweden but were dealt a 1-0 loss by Ireland.

Their opponents and reigning champions Spain were on course to finish as Group D leaders after two wins, only to suffer a 2-1 defeat to Croatia, rendering them second to set up this round of 16 clash with the Azzurris.

Conte, who will be stepping down as Italy coach and taking over Chelsea when the tournament ends, is refusing to delve into past results, especially the humbling 4-0 loss in the Euro 2008 final against the Spanish.

"We have huge respect for Spain because we know that we are playing against one of the top sides in the world, one of the favourites to win the European Championship," Conte said at the prematch news conference.

"That said, we have worked hard and prepared for the fixture. It's a last 16 match, there is no tomorrow for one of the two sides.

"Right from the outset I've said we mustn't go away with any recriminations of any kind. We must know we've given everything, at all times in every match.

"If the opposition then prove to be better than us we'll be the first to applaud them. Should that not happen, I want my players to win the match."

The former Juventus coach has sent a rally cry to his players, insisting that he does not want their Euro 2016 campaign to end on Monday against the Spaniards.

"We have to go further than reason and find something within us to produce something extraordinary because ordinary will not be enough tomorrow. I believe I have the players to do that," he added.

"Nothing is impossible. I do not want to go home, we do not want to go home. We are not going to be the sacrificial lamb for Spain on the pitch."

Captain and veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon echoed his coach's sentiments and believes Italy are one of few teams in the world who have what it takes to thwart Spain's goal of winning three consecutive European titles.

"We came into the game absolutely exhausted physically and emotional," the 38-year-old said. "Spain won by outclassing us that night. As for the other three fixtures, two were level after 120 minutes and the other was after 90.

"We showed that we've been able to cause a bit of bother for the best side in the world. Spain won on every continent for four years and Italy were the only team to really make it difficult for them, I truly believe that."

The winners of this game will go on to face Germany in the quarterfinals on July. 3 in Bordeaux.