Giorgio Chiellini says Arsenal star Bukayo Saka is 'too fast' for him
The 38-year-old, who plays his football in the MLS with Los Angeles FC these days, has finally broken his silence on his infamous challenge on Saka at the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England last year.
Giorgio Chiellini says Arsenal star Bukayo Saka is ‘too fast’ for him
Italy won the Euros last year and it was heartbreaking for Saka in the end after his penalty was saved in the shootout at Wembley. The Englishman, however, could’ve had a say much earlier in the game.
Saka came on as a substitute in the 70th minute. He got the better of Chiellini on the right side of the pitch and was through on goal, but the Italian grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him down.
That became one of the most talked-about moments of the Euros last year, and Chiellini has now admitted he initially made a mistake. However, he feels he was right to pull Saka back as the Arsenal man is ‘too fast’ and would’ve been ‘impossible’ to catch if he was allowed to run.
The 38-year-old told The Times: “I never thought this (pulling Saka back) could be the memory of the summer.
“For me, OK, I did a mistake and a foul in the smartest and best way possible because I think I can protect the ball and let it go out. But he passed me under my arm and the first thing I see is to try and grab him.
“Saka is too fast for me. If I started one or two moments before, I can run with him but if he goes, it is impossible. This is a good choice for me after a mistake.”
As bad as it was, Chiellini was right to do what he did and that moment probably helped his side win the Euros.
The veteran is no longer a part of the Italian national team. He will, however, be watching his countrymen take on England in Milan tonight, and Saka will definitely want to come out on top this time.
The youngster missed the decisive penalty in the shootout at Wembley last year, and he was subjected to vile abuse on social media following the final.
Saka has come a long way since, and he’d love nothing more than to score a goal against the Italians at the San Siro tonight.
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