Roma defender Smalling tribute to Juventus pair Chiellini and Bonucci for Euro 2020 triumph

6 days ago

Roma defender Chris Smalling has paid tribute to Juventus pair Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci after they helped Italy win Euro 2020.

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Smalling was particularly impressed with how the pair kept Italy in the final after going a goal down against England inside two minutes.

“They might not be the most skilful but it is their experience, how quick they are in their minds, that separates them from the rest," Smalling told The Telegraph.

“Chiellini is even older than Bonucci but they have seen it all and they are able to handle so many different situations. Take the final: for the first half an hour I thought it could be 2-0 or 3-0 [to England]. Italy's experienced players were able to manage that.

“They have been in so many situations and they have won so much. But I doubt they have ever had a final where they have totally bossed it for 90 minutes.

“So they take the sting out of certain periods of games. They get players to group together and demand certain things of people. They simplify the young players' roles. You saw them organising a lot and speaking to individuals, especially in the first 25 minutes. Eventually Italy got a little bit of a foothold and got more of the ball."

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