Euro 2020: Chiellini, Bonucci and the Art of Defense


Barzagli, of course, is in a better position than most to analyze their relationship. Until recently, Bonucci and Chiellini were not a couple, but part of a trio for both Juventus and Italy: Barzagli completed it until he first withdrew from international competition in 2018, then fully retired a few months later.

Each had their own role in this triumvirate. According to Chiellini’s estimation, he was the “aggressive” one, the “metronome” Bonucci and the “professor” Barzagli. “It’s always in the right place at the right time,” Chiellini said.

For Bonucci, Barzagli was the “example”. “Andrea is invincible one-on-one,” he said.

Barzagli’s interpretation follows a similar line. “Giorgio is a defender who needs to feel touch,” he said. “A player uses his intelligence, but also his physical strength, to deny the field. This type of defense is becoming rarer now. It’s changed a lot in the last few years. I don’t want to say he was one of the last great Italian defenders. but he is in this tradition.”

By contrast, Bonucci is “more modern,” said Barzagli, “better at reading the game, better at understanding situations,” the kind of player that Pep Guardiola, the high priest of the modern defensive style, described as “one of his own.” always a favourite.” Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, who serves as Barzagli’s heir to Juventus, admires “his vision, the accuracy of his long and short passes”. He sees something else in Chiellini. De Ligt said, “It’s like he has a magnet in his head. looks,” he said.

Barzagli has yet to decide where to watch the final on Sunday. Nerves never bothered him as an actor; He discovered that watching the matches as a spectator was a little more stressful. “Because you can’t do anything,” he said. To help him cope better with this, he may choose to watch in his home temple rather than with other people.


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