Rice made a mistake! – Bonucci reveals England midfielder fired Italy up ahead of Euro 2020 final

By Sports Desk September 29, 2021

Leonardo Bonucci has continued to rub salt into the wounds of England after Italy's success in the Euro 2020 final, saying Declan Rice played a part in motivating the tournament winners.

West Ham midfielder Rice said ahead of the final in July that England would be 10 times more ready than their opponents for the Wembley showpiece.

Those words, and the repetitive playing of England's Three Lions song after the country's semi-final win over Denmark, fuelled Bonucci and his team-mates, who ultimately won the competition on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

"We didn't pay much attention to it [the Three Lions song] until the Spain game," Bonucci, who ridiculed England's 'It's Coming Home' catchphrase on the pitch after Italy's win, said in an interview with The Athletic.

"Then the anger inside of us began to mount. We wanted to show them that the final hadn't already been decided. That they hadn't already won. 

"Hearing that song on repeat and the comment from Declan Rice saying England were 10 times more motivated to win than us – well, they're the kind of mistakes young players make. 

"You don't say that. You should never say you want something more than somebody else, or you're better than somebody else.

"You should always put yourself on the same level as your opponent, keep a low profile and strike at the right moment. That's what we did."

 

Italy also won their semi-final against Spain on penalties, and Bonucci felt Roberto Mancini's men had the right mix of confidence and humility.

The Juventus defender added: "We never said we were going to win, just that we were an inch away from going all the way and getting the right result.

"We were never presumptuous about it. We stayed humble and that's what made the difference.

"We had a great team, a great coach and a great staff behind us. To give our country and ourselves that kind of joy was something truly special."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Haaland out and Adeyemi in at Dortmund, Liverpool lead Bellingham chase Rumour Has It: Haaland out and Adeyemi in at Dortmund, Liverpool lead Bellingham chase

    Erling Haaland is the name on everyone's lips.

    His exploits for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund have sparked a frenzy among Europe's elite.

    With Haaland attracting interest, Dortmund are making moves to replace the Norway international.

     

    TOP STORY – ADEYEMI TO SUCCEED HAALAND?

    Borussia Dortmund are working on a deal to sign Salzburg's Karim Adeyemi as a replacement for in-demand star Erling Haaland, according to Fabrizio Romano's Here We Go podcast.

    Haaland is wanted all over Europe amid links with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Juventus.

    As speculation mounts over Haaland, Dortmund are reportedly preparing for his departure with a move for Salzburg sensation and Germany international Adeyemi.

    Barca, Bayern and Liverpool are reportedly interested in Adeyemi.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Liverpool lead the chase to sign Dortmund star Jude Bellingham, says The Mirror. As Europe's elite eye Haaland, Liverpool are looking to pounce on Bellingham who has been linked with Chelsea and United.

    - Todofichajes reports head coach Mauricio Pochettino has lost the faith of the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room. Pochettino has emerged as United's rumoured top target to lead the Red Devils long term, with Zinedine Zidane tipped to replace him in Paris.

    Bayern have joined the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, per Romano. Zakaria has been linked with Roma, Liverpool, City, Juve and Barca.

    Milan and Barca are eyeing Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, per Romano. The Denmark international has been in contract talks at Stamford Bridge.

  • Lewandowski eyes history, Ronaldo targets own record – Champions League in Opta numbers Lewandowski eyes history, Ronaldo targets own record – Champions League in Opta numbers

    Barcelona head to Bayern Munich on the final matchday desperately needing a positive result to secure their spot in the Champions League knockout stages.

    Benfica, who face Dynamo Kiev in Group E's other clash, hold the head-to-head edge over Xavi's new side as Barca travel to Germany knowing they likely need a win to make it through to the next round.

    Manchester United and Chelsea are already through their respective groups, while Juventus host Malmo with the Bianconeri's place in the last-16 sealed before the final matchday as well.

    As Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo edge towards more records, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data heading into the games taking place on Wednesday.

    Bayern Munich v Barcelona: Blaugrana face thankless task to qualify

    Bayern have won their last three Champions League meetings with Barca, which is already the longest run against the Blaugrana in European history by any side.

    Julian Nagelsmann's team, who have averaged five goals per home game in this season's competition, have cruised through to the next round, while Barca could fall to their second-worst performance in terms of points if they fail to avoid defeat.

    The visitors will have to deal with Lewandowski, who is the top scorer in the group stage with nine goals and the Poland forward could become the only player in history to net 10-plus times in the group stage on multiple occasions. Ronaldo (11 in 2015-16) and Lionel Messi (10 in 2016-17) are the only other players to have achieved this once.

    Zenit v Chelsea: Blues edge towards more defensive milestones

    Chelsea could become just the second English team, after Manchester United in 2003-04 and 2010-11 to win four consecutive games in the competition while keeping a clean sheet on each occasion.

    Indeed, with a clean sheet the Blues and Thomas Tuchel could become the fastest team and manager combination to reach 10 shutouts in the competition, having already recorded nine in just 12 games since the German's appointment.

    The defending champions have also had 14 different scorers, excluding own goals, the most of any team in the Champions League since Tuchel's Blues bow in Europe.

    Manchester United v Young Boys: Ronaldo looks to repeat history

    Ronaldo has scored in all five of his Champions League appearances since returning to United (six goals), while Bruno Fernandes boasts the most assists in the competition so far this term (five).

    Portugal captain Ronaldo will be looking to repeat the feat of scoring in all six group stage games in a single campaign, having previously done so for Real Madrid in 2017-18 – the only previous instance of this in the competition’s history.

    Worryingly for Young Boys, who never kept a clean sheet in 11 attempts in the competition, the Swiss side have lost their last six away games between 1986 and 2021, last tasting European Cup/Champions League victory in August 1960.

    Juventus v Malmo: Bianconeri aim to match record home dominance

    Juve have won each of their last five Champions League home matches, only registering more consecutive such victories in a run of six between December 2016 and 2017.

    While the Bianconeri did suffer their heaviest defeat in the history of the competition against Chelsea, Juve have a perfect record against Malmo in their opening three games – only Barca have ever won their opening four games against a specific opponent in the competitions.

    Meanwhile, Malmo have only managed one win in their last eight against Italian opponents in the European Cup/Champions League, with their lone triumph against Inter in September 1989.

     

    Other fixtures:

    Atalanta v Villarreal:

    21 - There have been 21 goals scored in Atalanta’s five games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League (11 goals for, 10 against), at an average of 4.2 per game. Only one of these five games have seen a team manage to keep a clean sheet, with Real Madrid doing so in a 1-0 victory back in February.

    1 - Villarreal have won just one of their eight visits to Italian opponents in major European competition (D3 L4), though it came in their most recent such outing, defeating Roma 1-0 in the Europa League in 2016-17.

    Benfica v Dynamo Kiev:

    4 - Since losing their first ever meeting with Dynamo Kiev in European competition (0-1 in November 1991), Benfica are unbeaten in four games against the Ukrainian side (W3 D1), with all four coming in the European Cup/Champions League.

    60 – Dynamo Kiev have lost 60 per cent of their away matches in the competition, only Olympiakos (75) and Galatasaray (71) have lost a larger percentage out of teams to have played at least 50 such games.

    Red Bull Salzburg v Sevilla:

    5 – Red Bull Salzburg are winless in their last five fixtures against Spanish opposition in the Champions League and have only won one of their last 11 meetings against such sides.

    3 – Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic has managed three goal involvements in his side's five goals in the competition, despite only starting two games – only for Barca in 2015-16 did he record more (four).

    Wolfsburg v Lille:

    5 - Wolfsburg have gone unbeaten in their last five games against French opponents in European competition (W2 D3) after previously going eight games without recording a victory against French teams across all competitions (D3 L5).

    8 – Lille have claimed eight points from their opening five games and could equal, or improve on, their best ever return in a group stage in the competition - nine points in 2006-07, where they qualified with a second-place finish.

  • Camperdown, Tivoli disqualified from Manning Cup after fielding ineligible players Camperdown, Tivoli disqualified from Manning Cup after fielding ineligible players

    Camperdown and Tivoli Gardens High have both been removed from the remainder of the Manning Cup after it was found that they both used ineligible players.

    As both teams were in Group B, they will be replaced in the quarterfinal round by the third and fourth-placed teams from the group, Excelsior High and STATHS.

    The new list of teams advancing to the quarterfinal round now reads: Jamaica College, Kingston Technical, Excelsior High, STATHS, Kingston College, Mona High, Charlie Smith, and St. Catherine High.

    JC, Mona, STATHS, and St, Catherine High will be in Group 1 while KC, Excelsior, Charlie Smith, and Kingston Tech will be in Group 2.

    Each team will play each other once and the top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.

     

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.