Ballack doubts Italy can repeat Spain performance


Michael Ballack expects Italy's Euro 2016 run to come to an end at the hands of his native Germany on Saturday.

The former Germany international was left impressed by Italy's performance against Spain, where goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle eliminated the double-defending champions.

But Ballack insists he struggles to see Antonio Conte's side putting in a second straight performance of that magnitude when they come up against world champions Germany in Bordeaux.

"I doubt the Italians will be able to pull off such a strenuous effort again," Ballack told

"I believe in a German win."

Despite Ballack's beliefs, history is not with Germany for this quarter-final clash.

The two have met eight times in the European Championship but Germany have never tasted victory, with a Mario Balotelli double sealing a 2-1 Italy win in their most recent encounter at the Euro 2012 semi-finals.