America's Cup 2021: Italian media label Team New Zealand, Kiwis arrogant and disrespectful

Team New Zealand and local media have been slammed for their perceived arrogance by members of the Italian press as the America's Cup finale draws closer.

The Cup kicks-off on Wednesday, with Italian syndicate Luna Rossa challenging the Kiwis for 'The Auld Mug'.

Rumours have been swirling around local media that the defenders have found some extra speed on their boat - hitting record-breaking marks during practice.

But Italian news outlet, OA Sport has slammed TNZ, and New Zealand media for being disrespectful and trying to inflict "psychological warfare" on the challengers.

"For days now, the New Zealand media have been repeating that the defenders are superior and will have an easy time with Luna Rossa, to the point that the contest should be a mere formality.

"It is difficult to think of other sports where there is a tendency to belittle the opponent in this way, even before an event begins.

"The goal is to launch these digs at the opponent with the declared intent to insinuate the worm of doubt and undermine their beliefs. It is subtle as well as banal psychological warfare."

Another Italian website, La Repubblica had a similar narrative, claiming New Zealanders already think the Cup is won.

All will be revealed when racing gets underway on Wednesday afternoon, with a further two races scheduled on Friday.

Join Newshub for live updates of the America's Cup final from 3pm Wednesday.