Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini believes England’s bench ‘could probably have made it to the final’ of Euro 2020, and praised the nation’s ‘extraordinary players’, ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 showpiece at Wembley stadium.
Gareth Southgate is blessed with an embarrassment of attacking riches, with the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford all struggling for minutes in the Three Lions’ forward line.
During Italy’s pre-match press conference, Chiellini admitted England’s strength in depth ‘makes him laugh”, believing the Three Lions’ bench ‘could probably have made it to the final’.
“Obviously Kane and Sterling are different players than the other strikers England have, with their own qualities, but they are all top players,” Chiellini said.
“It almost makes me laugh because I think England’s bench could probably have made it to the final on their own because they have some extraordinary players.
“We are going to try to limit their characteristics where we can, but thankfully it is not an individual game.
“It is a team game and it is not necessarily important whether Chiellini and Bonucci come up against Kane and Sterling – ultimately it is whether Italy can beat England.”
Euro 2020 comes to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday evening, when England welcome Italy to Wembley Stadium, with the winner ready to be crowned champions of Europe.
Both nations needed more than the standard 90 minutes to progress beyond the semi-finals, with the Three Lions requiring an extra-time winner from Harry Kane against Denmark, and the Azzurri going all the way to penalties against Spain.
There may be some heavy legs out on the Wembley turf on Sunday, but England’s ability to rotate and freshen up the front three could give Southgate’s men the upper hand. Manchester United star Rashford has barely featured all tournament, while soon-to-be Red Devil Sancho has only managed a brief cameo from the bench, as well as a rare start against Ukraine in the quarter-finals.