The mind games have begun ahead of Italy’s UEFA Euro 2020 final against England, with captain Giorgio Chiellini adding pressure on his opponents.

Speaking to Rai Sport (h/t Mirror), Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that it was “predictable” that England reached the finals of the UEFA Euro 2020 ahead of the showpiece event on Sunday night.

Italy will be looking to lift their first-ever international trophy since winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup whereas this will be England’s first major final appearance in 55 years and their first-ever in the European Championships. Given the magnitude of the contest and what’s at stake, Chiellini, one of the most experienced campaigners around, has ramped up the mind games ahead of the grand finale.

The 36-year-old Italy captain has tried to heap pressure on his opposition by insisting that it was predictable that they would reach the finals, considering the number of games they played at home in Wembley. “It was predictable England would be in the final of the Euros, as they played six out of seven games on home turf,” he said.

However, Chiellini did hail the England team, terming them hard to beat, while he also picked out names of several stars from the opposition who would be a challenge for Italy.

Chiellini starting the mind games ahead of the final. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Chiellini starting the mind games ahead of the final. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

“They might not be easy on the eye, but they are hard to beat. I immediately thought England would be a serious candidate to win the Euros. They have quality and physicality, are solid and organised. They reached the semi-final at the World Cup (in 2018),” the veteran Juventus defender said.

“Kane is a player I have always liked a great deal. I remember one of his first internationals in Turin and he immediately made a good impression on me. Their bench alone could win the Euros, as yesterday they had Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Phil Foden. It’s going to be a great game of football, neither side will be afraid and we’ll both respect each other.”

Italy and England have been the two best teams at the Euros and deserve to be in the finals. It promises to be an exciting clash at Wembley on Sunday night.

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