Italy star Mattia Zaccagni admitted Juventus icon Alessandro Del Piero was his childhood idol after following his heroics last night.

The Azzurri were facing a potential early elimination from Euro 2024 on Monday night as they found themselves trailing against Croatia who took the lead through Luka Modric.

This result would have seen the Italians finishing third in Group B, leaving their defensive campaign in tatters.

Nevertheless, Zaccagni entered the pitch in the final minutes to salvage an invaluable point for the reigning European champions.

In the very last play of the match, the Lazio star received the ball from Riccardo Calafiori on the left flank, and struck a fabulous shot with his right foot which curled past Dominik Livakovic and into the far corner.

This result allowed Italy to book their place in the knockout stages after finishing in second place behind Spain.

Moreover, Zaccagni’s pearler brought to memory Del Piero’s iconic last-minute goal against Germany in the semi-final of the 2006 World Cup, which also ensued on German soil.

The 29-year-old certainly enjoyed the comparison, as he revealed himself to be a major admirer of the legendary Juventus Number 10.

“Alex was my idol,” said Zaccagni in his post-match interview with Sky Sport Italia via IlBianconero.

“I had a poster of him in my room and I met him before leaving to Germany. Then we spoke again in recent days too, it was very exciting for me.”

The winger was also linked with a move to Juventus in recent months but ended up renewing his contract with Lazio.