GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany: Italy go into Thursday's Euro 2024 encounter with Spain hoping to play as elegantly as if they were dressed in their Giorgio Armani suits but they are ready to get themselves dirty if required, coach Luciano Spalletti said.

"We wear Giorgio Armani and Giorgio Armani is known around the whole world," Spalletti told reporters on Wednesday when asked if the Group B game with Spain would test his ability to give Italy a new identity, less than a year into the job.

"We will wear the same suit, we will try to be the same. Of course we really want to play the game our way and to measure ourselves against one of strongest teams...We will be there, well dressed but ready to get our clothes dirty if needed."

Both sides won their opening Euro 2024 games, Spain cruising past Croatia 3-0 while Italy had to overcome the shock of conceding the fastest goal in the history of European Championship tournaments to beat Albania 2-1.

Italy are the defending European champions but they failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup - their second such failure in a row - and Spalletti is building a new-look side after his predecessor Roberto Mancini walked out to coach Saudi Arabia.

Spain under Luis de la Fuente are looking for revenge for their elimination by Italy at Euro 2020, the latest twist in a long European Championship history involving the two countries.

The outcome of contest in the Arena AufSchalke will be crucial in determining who comes top of what is considered the toughest group in this year's tournament, a position that will probably offer an easier tie in the first knockout round.

Spalletti said Croatia were punished by Spain for lapses in concentration and it was crucial that his players kept focused, with Spain's experienced centre-forward Alvaro Morata and 16 year-old sensation Lamine Yamal so lethal on the counter-attack.

Pressed by Spanish reporters about his views on Spain's free-flowing attacking style, Spalletti said his main concern was making sure his side stuck to their approach.

"We have total respect for Spain's history and the quality of the team but you must not think that you are stronger than you actually are," he said. "We have a chance to play the game our way. We will see whether we can do that." (Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Toby Chopra)