Soccer

‘Jorginho is irreplaceable’ – Chelsea midfielder key to Italy bid for Euro 2020 glory, says Ambrosini

The 29-year-old converted the winning penalty in the semi-final shootout – though his effect on the national team has gone far beyond that kick

Former Italy midfielder Massimo Ambrosini has called Jorginho “irreplaceable” in an exclusive interview with Goal ahead of the Azzurri’s Euro 2020 final against England.

Jorginho has excelled as a deep-lying midfielder both in terms of winning the ball and being the catalyst for counterattacks. He also netted the shootout-winning penalty against Spain in the semi-final.

Ambrosini, who played at Euro 2008, admits he wishes he could join Jorginho on the pitch at Wembley Stadium with the chance to earn the Henri Delaunay trophy.

What has been said?

“Jorginho is irreplaceable. In the midfield, Italy has wide choice and quality,” Ambrosini told Goal.

“Mancini should be thanked for what he did, we must give him credit for having created a strong, courageous team with personality. What he did will be remembered regardless of the result of the final, which we obviously hope will be the icing on the cake.

“I would take the plane now to play this match, they are always unforgettable matches.

“The presence of so many English fans at Wembley can also affect England, in the sense that not everyone is used to playing a final in front of the public of their country and some may feel the pressure.

“It would not be the first time, by the way. Historically, there were sensational defeats of teams that played in finals at home: I am thinking of Bayern Munich in the Champions League or France in the last European Championship.

“Who would I take away from English team? Harry Kane is a great striker. At the beginning of the European Championship he did not score, but now he is reminding everyone that he is capable of making a difference like few others.”

Azpilicueta endorses Jorginho-Busquets comparison

Last week, Chelsea team-mate Cesar Azpilicueta also talked up Jorginho and agreed that there was a comparison to be made with Barcelona star Sergio Busquets.

“They’re two great players who move well in short spaces: intelligent, tactically sharp, they judge space well and always choose the right pass for the team,” Azpilicueta told The Guardian.

“Jorginho is a great footballer, very important for the way Italy play. He likes to be in contact with the ball, to control the game, he’s clever.”

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