England lock horns with Italy in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday evening at Wembley, with the Three Lions’ young attacking talents looking to cause problems for Italy’s experienced veterans
Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci believes he and his teammates will have to rely on all their years of experience if they are to stop Harry Kane and his England compatriots from weaving their magic in tomorrow evening’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
After getting the better of Spain and Denmark during their respective semi-final clashes in midweek, the two nations will go head-to-head in their pursuit of European glory.
For England, who saw off Denmark in extra-time with a 2–1 win, it will represent their first appearance in the final of a major tournament since lifting the World Cup all the way back in 1966, meaning they have already secured a massive achievement regardless of the outcome underneath the Wembley Arch.
However, with Gareth Southgate having the likes of Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Kane to call upon at the top end of the pitch, the Three Lions will enter the contest with every confidence that they can cause damage.
But to do so they will have to get the better of Italian veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Bonucci, both of whom have been sensational throughout the tournament.
Nevertheless, Bonucci is aware of the challenge England’s attacking players will pose, highlighting how important the Italians’ experience could be.
“Well, it’s youngsters versus veterans, let’s say,” said Bonucci, as quoted by the Mirror. “The English forwards are very strong and great players, so we’ll need to be very cautious in our defence and the whole team must be very cautious.
“We know how they can bring difficulties for us, so we’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the pace, and to the quickness of their forwards like Harry Kane and others.
“In our last three matches we’ve had the chance to meet three of the best forwards in the world, and the plan is to do better and not let anything go in any moment of the game.
“I said during the group stage that England was one of the candidates to win the tournament and now they are in the final against us.
“They have conceded very few shots, they have two great players like Harry Maguire and John Stones, who have helped make Manchester United and Manchester City great.
“So we’ll need to pay a lot of attention as a defence, and we will need to be very smart, in order to score against this great defence.”
As well as Bonucci waxing lyrical about England’s attacking options, his partner in crime Chiellini also hailed Kane’s talents, highlighting just how big a challenge it could be to stop the Tottenham Hotspur striker, who has scored four goals in England’s last three Euro 2020 outings.
“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.”
With both admissions taken into account, it is clear that both Bonucci and Chiellini are wary of the threat Kane will pose, as well as admitting to just how talented a striker he is.