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Leonardo Bonucci has defended Ciro Immobile's dramatic sudden recovery from injury, after the Italy striker celebrated Nicolo Barella's goal vs Belgium just moments after being in agony.
Immobile was seen writhing around on the ground after being tackled in the box during Italy's Euro 2020 quarter final victory on Friday night.
Just seconds later Barella opened the scoring for the Azzurri and the striker was soon back on his feet and running towards the goal scorer and his fellow teammates to celebrate.
The Lazio striker was called "pathetic" by Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer whilst others caused for his phoenix rising routine to be punished by a ban.
However Immobile's agony to ecstasy has been defended by Bonucci, who claims the goal took away all of his teammate's pain.
"These things happen on the pitch," the defender said, "Ciro felt contact and he went down.
"The joy and excitement of a goal is so great in matches such as these that it means that you don't experience any more pain after that.
"But Ciro is a wonderful bloke, he's a very upstanding man and on the pitch things like this can happen."
Despite defending his teammate, the 34-year-old captain did admit that, like the rest of the football world, the players were actually mocking Immobile for his sudden resurrection.
"We also had a bit of a laugh about it," the Juventus centre back added, "We took the mickey out of him but that was the end of it."
At least his fellow players also knew how ridiculous the whole scene was!
Lorenzo Insigne added a brilliant second goal for Roberto Mancini's side as they knocked Belgium out of the quarters, despite Romelu Lukaku's penalty.
The Euro 2012 finalists meet Spain, who beat them in that final, on Tuesday night and Bonucci is positive about his side's chances.
"We know if we play like we've done in the last 30 matches or so, we should come away with a good result," lord only knows what the recovery powers of getting to a final would be, it might even fix Leonardo Spinazzola.
Featured Image Credit: BBC Sport
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