Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci did not think that there was any controversy surrounding Ciro Immobile’s behaviour in the Azzurri’s win over Belgium in Euro 2020.

Speaking to gathered reporters in a press conference (via LazioNews24) earlier today, the 34-year-old Italian defender first spoke about Spain forward Alvaro Morata.

First of all, he is a friend. In Turin we are often together, I was struck by what he suffered and we all suffer. I have been there, I know what it means to see and hear certain things.

I have been close to him, he is a great father. He is a total striker, one of the best centre forwards in the world. Tomorrow evening we all need to pay attention to him and to the whole team.

He was asked who was stronger between Morata and Belgium star Romelu Lukaku.

They are two great strikers. In these competitions strikers are strong. Alvaro has specific characteristics, different from Lukaku. We’ll have to pay attention to detail to bring something special home.

The Juventus defender touched on the atmosphere in the Italy camp ahead of tomorrow’s semi-finals against Spain.

We’re not fully into it yet, we have to breathe the air that Wembley gives us. We need to breathe in the atmosphere at Wembley.

We want to experience this match with a lot of passion and humility in order to bring home the result.

He commented on the Spanish national team.

In addition to their history, they have shown that they are constantly growing. We need respect that the two national teams have a particular way of playing.

We have to pay attention to their movements without the ball.

Bonucci remembered his various experiences playing against Spain.

I have a bitter memory of the Kiev final, in which we arrived with low batteries and lacking ideas. In 2016 we were aware that we would put them in trouble and it was a different game.

Tomorrow will be an open game, we’ll have to watch out for Morata, Dani Olmo and their attacking players as they regroup and counter-attack.

The 34-year-old Italian spoke fondly of his defensive partnership with fellow Bianconeri defender Giorgio Chiellini.

In the last two seasons, partly because of Giorgio’s injury, partly because of the pandemic and partly because of some of my issues, we have played very little together.

We know each other by heart and it all comes more naturally, so a lot of things you have to think about, having a different partner to him, go away and you can concentrate.

We share the tasks together, also as leaders, this allows us to give our best in every game.

Bonucci discussed the controversy surrounding Immobile’s celebration in the win over Belgium, getting up quickly after being apparently injured.

These are things that happen on the pitch. He felt a challenge and then the joy of scoring a goal is so great that it makes all the pain go away.

Ciro is a great person, very fair. Things like that happen on the pitch, we laughed about it too, we made fun of him, but it’s all over.

The 34-year-old spoke about the strengths of Spain coach Luis Enrique.

I think that apart from the similar game plan, Luis Enrique has given precise ideas. In this European Championship Spain has been criticised, he has made a shield in front of the team uniting the group even more.

They are a united national team, in the eleven and in the reserves. This is the greatest difficulty, when you meet a national team so strong at the mental level, the match hides pitfalls.

If we are the Italy we have been in these thirty games, tomorrow night we will have a great satisfaction.

He did not think that the Azzurri were the favourites in tomorrow’s match.

There are no favourites. We have played a clear and clean route up until today but everything must be put to the past even if Spain had difficulties.

We have to focus on what we have to improve, for us it has to be an incentive to play a semifinal here, against such a strong team.

Finally, Bonucci spoke about the Italians’ mindset leading into tomorrow night’s semi-final.

We have, as others have already said, undertaken a precise idea of the game. We want to lead the match, then you cannot do it for 90 minutes, the others can put you in difficulty but our tradition is to be able to react and put the opponents in difficulty.

Tomorrow night there will also be moments where we will have to do a big defensive phase so that Spain don’t put us in trouble.

But now we want to give everything to make the Italians proud of the national team and we want to dedicate the final to Leonardo Spinazzola.

Losing him was a hard blow but also this morning he gave us strength. We owe it to him.


MORE: Italy Coach Mancini on Lazio’s Immobile: “The Most Criticised Player Often Decides the Game”

MORE: Lazio to Announce Full Squad List for Pre-Season Training Retreat Later This Week