“What Chiellini did with Saka shows everything.”
Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, specifically for his foul on Bukayo Saka in the Euro 2020 final.
Mourinho has said that the Italy captain is a “top defender” and a “very clever guy.”
Giorgio Chiellini foul on Bukayo Saka.
With only minutes left in the final at Wembley, and the score level at 1-1, Chiellini made a rare mistake that allowed Saka to break past him. The England star appeared to have a clean run on goal.
The Juventus defender acted quickly and strongly, however. Chiellini yanked Saka down to the ground by pulling on the collar of his jersey.
Chiellini received a yellow card for the cynical foul, as Saka was still a great distance from the Italy goal, and it appeared that other Italian defenders could have made it back in time.
Jose Mourinho on Giorgio Chiellini.
Mourinho has since praised the quick thinking of Chiellini to prevent Saka from running away from him.
“What Chiellini did with Saka shows everything,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.
“He made his only mistake of the game, he lost the turn on the touchline. Saka was going… ‘You are not going, you stay with me, the shirt is mine and you are not going’.
“He knows what he is doing. This is a top defender and a very clever guy.
“I played Juventus with Manchester United a couple of seasons ago, and after the game at Old Trafford, I said something like: ‘These two guys should go to University of Sports and give lectures on how to be a central defender’.
“Even a couple of years later, they are still capable of doing this.
“Probably Chiellini is not capable of doing it every three days, sometimes he needs a rest, sometimes he has a little injury as it happened at the beginning of the competition, but they are both prepared to be at the highest level.”
Mourinho will have to get used to Chiellini’s defending, as he recently took the job as Roma manager, meaning he will come up against the veteran defender at least twice this season.