Claudio Ranieri believes Euro 2020 final is ’50/50 game’ but admits Italy will have to play twice as hard against England’s ‘defensively strong’ side as the ‘whole stadium’ will be behind the Three Lions
Claudio Ranieri says it will be 50-50 as to who wins the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy on Sunday.
He believes that Italy will face a greater challenge than the hosts as they will have to ‘play against the whole stadium’.
Although Ranieri – who left Sampdoria after leading the Blucerchiati to ninth in Serie A – is hopeful that Roberto Mancini’s men can do the business.
Claudio Ranieri (above) says it’ll be 50-50 as to who wins the Euro 2020 final on Sunday
‘I’m very happy because there are some young players and, of course, some players with experience like Georgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Jorginho. There is a very good blend,’ Ranieri told BBC Sport.
‘It’s very important that we come back to a high level. It’s important for all Italian people, not only for the fans.
‘We now have the right mentality. Yes, we have the Italian soul – we stay together, we suffer, we fight – but Mancini wants to give to the Italian team the happiness to play forward, to attack in every situation.
‘Our mentality has changed in two years. When it’s possible, we want to dominate the opponent. When it’s not possible, we try to win the match.’
England will face Italy at Wembley in the final of the European Championship on Sunday
Ranieri says Italy face a challenge as they’ll have to ‘play against the whole stadium’
He went on to say: ‘If it’s possible, we’ll try to dominate the opponent. If it’s not possible, they defend.
‘I think it’s a very, very good match. I said before the Euros started, the final could be Italy and England.’
‘I think Jorginho was a key player, but it’s difficult. I think the team is key because if I think of Jorginho, I think about Lorenzo Insigne.
‘If I think about Insigne, I think about Federico Chiesa. If I think Chiesa, I think Leanordo Bonucci, Georgio Chiellini, Gianluigi Donnarumma…’
Ranieri says it is hard to call who the winner on Sunday will be, but he has praised Gareth Southgate for his tactics throughout the tournament.
He believes England’s defence is ‘very strong’ and that England possess a ‘good team’.
‘I think England will try to push a lot because there are so many fans in Wembley. But Italy will try to play one-two touches to go over their pressing.
However, Ranieri says that Italy have a very good ‘blend’ of old and young players available
Although he does believe England are ‘very strong’ defensively and have a ‘good team’
He said: ‘It’s 50-50 because 90 percent of Wembley is pushing its team, but Italy is ready to fight, play football, is ready to try to win. I hope the referee is a very good referee. That is important now.
‘Italian players are used to playing in every situation. For them, it will be very good to play against all the stadium.’
‘Gareth Southgate has made a fantastic team. It’s like a club team, the atmosphere. They play altogether, they help each other.
‘There is quality and the English spirit. In front, with Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Harry Kane, Jack Grealish – there is a lot of quality.
‘I know Phil Foden is not the right Foden at the moment but he’s always Foden. Behind, there is Kalvin Philips and Declan Rice who stay there to block everybody.
‘The defence line is very strong: Kyle Walker is very fast, and John Stones and Harry Maguire are very strong. It’s a good team. Well done, Southgate.’