Italy v England Euro 2020 final: Giorgio Chielini says England’s bench could reach final

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
3 Min Read

Date: Sunday, 11 July. Kick-off: 20:00 BST. Venue: Wembley Stadium. Coverage: Live on BBC One and iPlayer from 18:20. Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. Live text commentary, goal clips, report and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

Italy’s veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini says England could have reached the Euro 2020 final with the players on their bench alone.

Speaking before the two sides meet in Sunday’s Wembley final, the 36-year-old hailed the strength of Gareth Southgate’s squad.

“It almost makes me laugh because I think England’s bench could probably have made it to the final on their own,” he said.

“They have some extraordinary players.”

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Azzurri have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround under manager Roberto Mancini and are currently unbeaten in 33 games.

“I have felt there is something special and magical in the group,” Italy captain Chiellini said.

“At the beginning when he [Mancini] said we had to think about winning the European Championship we too thought he was crazy. Instead we managed to get there and now the last centimetre is missing.”

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Mancini, who represented Italy at youth and senior level, hopes he can win a trophy that eluded him as a player.

“This is possibly one of the highlights of my career. I had the opportunity to play for the under-21 and the senior side yet we weren’t able to win a trophy,” said the 56-year-old.

“It’s a very important moment for me because I represent Italy so I really hope I can enjoy the experience that I didn’t enjoy during my playing career.”

Mancini says he has no plans to change with his tactics against England, who he admitted are the physically stronger of the two sides.

“Occasionally the smaller guy wins, that has happened to us in the past, and we hope that happens to us this time around,” he said.

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