Italy Defender Chiellini: “England’s Bench Could Get to the Final Anyway”

Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini expressed his excitement ahead of tomorrow’s Euro 2020 final against England.

Speaking to gathered reporters in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) earlier today, the 36-year-old Italian coach first looked ahead to tomorrow’s final.

England is not Spain, they have different characteristics. I think that the teams that have shown the most during this European Championship have reached the final.

You only have to look at their score to understand that they are solid, physical and have great individuality in every department.

They have an organisation that Southgate brought forward after Euro 2016. They don’t dribble like the Spaniards but they are strong in every department, they have conceded half a goal from free kicks throughout the European Championship and as soon as they have the pitch they go on a rampage and hurt you.

He touched on the mentality needed ahead of the match tomorrow evening.

The cartoons these days make me smile, the front page of the National made me smile because of Scotland’s rivalry with England. Tomorrow we’ll need a warm heart to survive, but also a cool head.

We’ll have to be daring, we’ll have to go, we’ll have to be clear-headed to get the situation under control.

It is unthinkable to be in control for 90 minutes, we will need these characteristics to the maximum. To win the final we’ll need to take care of every detail.

The 36-year-old Italian commented on how it will feel to play in a historic stadium like Wembley against England.

Matches like this might not happen in a player’s career. My job, like Mancini’s, is to defuse the tension. We’re aware of the importance, there’s no need to highlight it.

We need to be firemen, that goes for us and for them. We have to enjoy it with joy and with the thing I said for the first time at Forte Village, light-heartedness and madness.

Chiellini spoke about the strengths of England forward Harry Kane, who has scored four goals so far in this tournament.

I remember Kane from a friendly in Turin with England, he impressed me immediately. He has a lot of qualities, he’s physical, technical, he can create assists, he can shoot well from outside the box, he can take free kicks.

He impressed me a lot, I played against him at Tottenham, I saw him, he’s incredible. I’m a great admirer of his, you can ask Paratici for confirmation, how many times we’ve talked about him over the years. I’m lucky enough to see him on the pitch tomorrow.

The 36-year-old Italian defender discussed his desire to win and how fun this tournament has been.

We are enjoying the adventure, you can feel something different from the beginning. I’ve been saying this for a long time, since I decided to continue this cycle, I thought we could do well.

The European Championship was postponed, the young players have grown and arrived ready to do a great tournament.

There was something magical and special here, from three centimeters away we were at two, now we are at the last one.

He commented on the scenes with Spanish full-back Jordi Alba ahead of the penalty shootout in the semi-finals.

I am enjoying every moment of these last years of my career, always with a smile and respect for my opponents. I laugh, I joke, I hug my opponents.

I have always done it and I enjoy it even more now than in the other years. There is no pretext, my teammates love me, opponents at the moment less so but there is mutual respect but I have always given and received so much.

Chiellini touched on how he thinks match to match.

The joy and the enjoyment of every moment also comes from this. I think day after day, I live every moment.

A guy like me can’t make long-term plans, I just have to bring this joy in playing to the guys, everyone puts their own contribution into it, a different ingredient.

The Juventus and Azzurri defender discussed how it will feel to play in full capacity Wembley tomorrow.

It’s OK to play at home. It won’t be the last time, it was the venue, good for them to be in the final. I’ve read controversy about phrases taken from a speech I gave. I predicted England to be in the final because of their quality and the course they took.

I saw the team as stronger than the other group, then playing at home helps but it was true for us. I would ask the Swiss who played Baku, Rome, St Petersburg if they would have preferred to play in a fixed place.

There is no controversy, playing at Wembley is a dream for everyone, playing a final there will be great, the field will speak for itself.

He touched on the final some more.

We thought we would have a great European Championship, then the road to the final is full of obstacles and sliding doors.

But the growing situation has always been that of playing a great event. We were ready to do something important, then Rome gave us something more, to taste again the warmth of Italy was important.

Finally, Chiellini spoke about the English attack.

They have international experience, especially Kane and Sterling. Everyone has their own characteristics, if I run in the open pitch with Sterling I doubt I’ll get there before him. But I’ll take the goalkeeper’s goal.

There are situations where they limit their qualities, those of every England striker. England’s bench could get to the final anyway, we’ll try to take them where we can limit them. And luckily it’s a team game.

MORE: Italy Coach Mancini: “It Will Be a Beautiful Match in Front of a Full Stadium”

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Tags Azzurri Biancocelesti Chiellini England EURO 2020 FIGC Giorgio Chiellini Italy italy v england Lazio Serie A