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‘I Grabbed Him Good!’ - Giorgio Chiellini Laughs As He Recalls Shirt Pull On Bukayo Saka In 2020 Euro Final

Marcus Chan

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‘I Grabbed Him Good!’ - Giorgio Chiellini Laughs As He Recalls Shirt Pull On Bukayo Saka In 2020 Euro Final

Italy legend Giorgio Chiellini laughs as he recalls his infamous shirt pull on England man Bukayo Saka during the Euro 2020 final.

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. 

Giorgio Chiellini hauls down Bukayo Saka. Image Credit: Alamy
Giorgio Chiellini hauls down Bukayo Saka. Image Credit: Alamy

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.” 

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. 

Manchester United pair Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also missed their spot kicks as Gareth Southgate’s side came within inches of winning a first major trophy since 1966.

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.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Italy, Giorgio Chiellini, Bukayo Saka, England, Euro 2021

Marcus Chan
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