The defender helped his country move into the Euro 2020 final against either England or Denmark
Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci admitted that Tuesday’s clash with Spain was the toughest game he ever played as the Azzurri booked their place in the Euro 2020 final.
Bonucci’s side outlasted Spain in a shootout, earning a place in the finale against either Denmark or England.
After a back-and-forth match that saw Spain equalize in the 80th minute on an Alvaro Morata goal, Bonucci was beaming with pride as he said his team showed exactly what they’re made of to move one step closer to a major trophy.
What was said?
“This is the toughest game I have ever played. I congratulate Spain for what they showed, but once again this Italy showed heart, determination and the ability to push through difficult moments and the lottery of penalties rewarded us,” Bonucci told RAI Sport.
“The victory you suffer for is always the most enjoyable one.”
“Now there’s one more centimetre to go. Just one more centimetre,” he added. “It’s incredible what we are doing, but we mustn’t feel satisfied. We’re in the final. It is in five days, and we need the same hunger and spirit of sacrifice to bring this trophy home after many years.”
‘We suffered to the end and we snatched it’
Gianluigi Donnarrumma also hailed the spirit in Italy’s team after the victory, saying they “snatched” the victory after a difficult game.
Donnarumma made the pivotal shootout stop on Morata, who had scored on him earlier in the game, paving the way for Jorginho to seal the win with a calmly taken penalty.
“It’s indescribable. I was relaxed because I knew I could help the team,” Donnarumma told RAI Sport.
“The team was fantastic, I thank everyone, the people in the stands, we gave our all and now we need one final step to make our dream come true.
“Spain are very strong, but this Italy has a huge heart, we never give up and we saw that because we suffered to the end and we snatched it, but Spain deserve a lot of credit for causing us so many problems.”