When Roberto Mancini decided to rely on an aging defensive duo for his Euro 2020 campaign, some observers felt it could be his undoing.

Nevertheless, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have so far managed to defy their ages, as they continue to put up some solid displays for Italy.

With the Azzurri reaching the final of the competition, a large chunk of the credit must go to the Juventus pair, who marshaled the backline brilliantly.

Italy only conceded three goals in the competition thus far, with only one coming from open play, and are now set to take on England on their own turf at Wembley in Sunday’s final.

In an interview with la Gazzetta dello Sport via ilBianconero, former Italy striker Cristian Vieri only had words of praise for Chiellini and Bonucci.

“Together they are perfect, I wouldn’t exchange them with any other pair in Europe. Mourinho’s words were great: those two should teach defending at Harvard.

“Here’s what I believe: If Chiello could put two new calves on, he could play until he reaches 50,” said Vieri.

Besides the defenders, the former Juventus, Inter and Milan bomber was also impressed with Federico Chiesa’s performances, and compared him to his father, Enrico.

“Federico has more strength, he is perfect for today’s football, Enrico was more attacking, a phenomenon in kicking, right and left.

“His son is on that road, he is also getting more clinical in front of goal, but Mancini is right when he says that he can score more. He has everything he needs to do so, not only strength, but also technique and speed.”