‘I Grabbed Him Good!’ - Giorgio Chiellini Laughs As He Recalls Shirt Pull On Bukayo Saka In 2020 Euro Final
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Roberto Mancini’s side won the title after a nail biting final at Wembley, Luke Shaw gave England the perfect start but a goal from Leonardo Bonucci made it 1-1 after 90 minutes. Italy eventually came out on top after a tense penalty shoot out.
But before that, experienced centre back left England fans infuriated after he hauled Saka down as the forward tried to break into the final third.
The defender was trying to shield the ball out of play on the byline but Saka managed to steal the ball from the Italian.
With acres of space ahead of the Arsenal man down the right side, Saka looked to drive into the space to set up a potential attack for his team, but Chiellini spotted the danger and had to produce a cynical foul to stop the attack.
Understandably, England fans were furious as they saw one of the team’s top talents yanked to the ground at the start of a counter attack.
Nearly a year has passed since that incident and the Juventus legend has rewatched his action on Saka and admitted that he had no choice but to make the foul.
Chiellini said: “This became the symbol of Euro 2020 as a whole. The most heavily used meme of summer 2021.”
“It was probably one of the only mistakes I made during the Euros.”
Chiellini about fouling Bukayo Saka in the Euro's final:— Gilles 🇳🇬🏴 (@_Grimanditweets) June 11, 2022
“He wriggled around me from behind and had space to run to, my reaction was to grab him, and I grabbed him good!” pic.twitter.com/6679ky2WDZ
He added: “It was in the 90th minute and I'd read the flight of the ball, thinking I could shepherd it out of play when really I could have controlled it.”
“But I was convinced I could put my body between Saka and the ball and let it go out of play, but he wriggled round me.”
“When he wriggled round from behind and had that space to run into, my reaction was to grab him. And I grabbed him good!”
Saka went on to miss the decisive penalty as Italy goalkeeper guessed right and made the save to win his country the tournament.
One year ago today, Italy kicked off Euro 2020 with a 3-0 win against Turkey.— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 11, 2022
Then they went on to win the whole thing 🍾 pic.twitter.com/d8abaKNSfx
Since winning the Euro, Italy's form has dipped drastically as they failed to secure a place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, after losing to North Macedonia in the play off round. England will have a chance to improve on their second place finish a year ago as they look to bring home the World Cup.