Leonardo Bonucci's Comments About The England National Side Have Surprised Gary Lineker
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For only the second time in their successful history, the Italian national side will not feature at the World Cup this summer after failing to quality in mid-November last year.
They might have dominated in terms of possession, but the Italians couldn't find a breakthrough in their World Cup qualifier against Sweden and therefore failed in their attempts, losing 1-0 on aggregate.
For the first time since 1958, the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini will not appear in this summer's competition in Russia.
Back in November, Gary Lineker said on Twitter that we simply cannot imagine a tournament without the famous Blue.
Can't imagine a World Cup without Italy. It's not happened in my lifetime, but they're on the brink.- Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 13, 2017
Four months later, Lineker has again commented on the Italian national side after Leonardo Bonucci made a rather bold statement during his pre-match press conference.
Italy will come up against England on Tuesday night as they look to redeem themselves after failing to qualify, but Boncucci feels like they need to learn a thing or two from Gareth Southgate's side - which is rich considering they haven't exactly won anything since '66.
"We all need to understand Italy starts - not from zero, but not very far from zero," Bonucci said via The Guardian. We need to let these young players grow and hopefully they'll take us back to the Italy we're used to."
"England have managed to go through transition while still qualifying. England have a group of young players with lots of experience. Our young players don't have that experience.
"There's no point looking back. We should look forward. We have a team with not much international experience. You can't compare our younger players to the English ones."
Bonucci is clearing suggesting Italy need 'to take a leaf' out of England's book, but Lineker thinks the world has gone mad.
Thoughts on Bonucci's comments to the media? Can England secure another victory tonight?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.