After missing out on the action against Wales and Austria, Giorgio Chiellini returned from injury right on time to hand Italy a major boost for their most crucial encounters.
The captain put on one solid performance after another in Euro 2020, as the Azzurri went through the tough competition, outplaying Belgium it the quarter finals, overcoming Spain in the penalty shootouts in the semis, and finally emerging victorious against England in the grand finale at Wembley.
The 36-year-old is widely expected to renew his contract with Juventus for next season, and he’ll find an old retuning foe awaiting him in the Italian capital.
José Mourinho will be in charge of AS Roma starting the next campaign, but the controversial manager once again reveals his admiration for the great defender.
“What Chiellini did with Saka shows everything. He made his only mistake of the game, he lost the turn on the touchline. Saka was going: ‘You are not going, you stay with me, the shirt is mine and you are not going,” the Special One told TalkSport via Football Italia.
“He knows what he is doing. This is a top defender and a very clever guy. I played Juventus with Manchester United a couple of seasons ago, and after the game at Old Trafford, I said something like: ‘These two guys (Chiellini and Bonucci) should go to University of Sports and give lectures on how to be a central defender.
“Even a couple of years later, they are still capable of doing this. Probably Chiellini is not capable of doing it every three days, sometimes he needs a rest, sometimes he has a little injury as it happened at the beginning of the competition, but they are both prepared to be at the highest level.”
Mourinho had one previous spell in Italy – between 2008 and 2010 – when he famously led Inter towards a historic treble before departing towards Real Madrid.