Aged 36, the Euro 2020 final against England may be the Italian centre-back's last chance to win a major international trophy.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini expects the upcoming Euro 2020 final against England to be an extremely tough match, with both teams looking extremely strong at this stage. While some people were surprised by Italy’s progress to the final, Chiellini had urged his friends to expect an emotional summer. The 36-year-old enjoys his last chance to win an international trophy, with the final against England marking its 112th game for the Azzurri.
“It will be tough. Extremely tough. I have always liked [Harry Kane] a lot. I still remember one of his first matches with England, when we played against them in Turin [on Kane’s full England debut, a 1-1 draw in 2015]. Even then he made a huge impression on me. I was lucky enough to play against him [in a game against] Tottenham. He knows how to play deep and how to play a defence-splitting pass for a team-mate. He scores with his head and from long and close range. England are clearly not just Kane because they have amazing players on both wings and their substitutes could all be in the starting XI of a team that wins this competition. Players like [Jack] Grealish, [Jadon] Sancho, [Marcus] Rashford, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin, [Phil] Foden were all on the bench but they’re top players, including [Jordan] Henderson, Liverpool’s captain. It will be a great match. Neither team will be afraid but both will have a lot of respect for each other” he said as quoted by UEFA’s official website.
The Juventus defender termed the Euro 2020 as extremely emotional at every stage.
“This championship has been very emotional, from the first match against Turkey up to now. But, if I read some of the texts that I sent before EURO 2020 to some of my close friends, the feeling was that we would have a summer filled with emotion, joy, magical nights and adventures. It was in us because you felt the ease and the bond that we feel when this team does things together. [Getting to the final is] a dream we’ve been chasing over the years, a dream we’ve been carrying [with us] for three years, a dream our coach slowly put in our minds until it became true. At the beginning, when he told us to have in our minds the idea of winning the EURO, we thought he was crazy; instead, during these years he has created a team which is now on the brink of doing that. And as he has repeated to us after every match, ‘one centimetre at a time’, and now there is only the last centimetre left,” he stated.
The veteran was full of praise for Leonardo Bonucci, with whom he shares a prolific partnership.
“We’ve played together for so many years at a high level. Obviously, when your team does very well it’s normal people speak about [the partnership], but [getting acclaim] is not our main focus, because the only thing that really matters is that the team wins when the final whistle blows. The team does not win only thanks to Giorgio [Chiellini], Leo [Bonucci] or any other individual player. It’s the whole squad who are having a fantastic tournament, in every position. This is the only truth. Otherwise, you can’t win competitions like this,” concluded Bonucci.