Leonardo Bonucci reveals Declan Rice comments spurred on Italy in Euro 2020 Final - ‘You don’t say that’

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Leonardo Bonucci has revealed comments from Declan Rice spurred on Italy in the Euro 2020 Final.

Italy were crowned European champions when they beat England on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in July.

West Ham midfielder Rice had said England would be "10 times" more ready than Italy for the match, comments which Bonucci has revealed did not go down well in the Italian camp.

Speaking ahead of the final, Rice had said: “I can assure you, we will be ready for it 10 times harder than they will. We are ready to run, ready to go to places we’ve never been before."

Bonucci says those comments were a mistake.

"They’re the kind of mistakes young players make," the veteran Juventus defender told The Athletic.

"You don’t say that. You should never say you want something more than somebody else or you’re better than somebody else.

“You should always put yourself on the same level as your opponent, keep a low profile and strike at the right moment. That’s what we did.

“We never said we were going to win, just that we were an inch away from going all the way and getting the right result. We were never presumptuous about it. We stayed humble and that’s what made the difference.

“We had a great team, a great coach and a great staff behind us. To give our country and ourselves that kind of joy was something truly special.”

Bonucci also said all the talk of “football’s coming home” angered Italy.

“We didn’t pay much attention to it until the Spain game,” Bonucci said.

“Then the anger inside of us began to mount. We wanted to show them that the final hadn’t already been decided. That they hadn’t already won.”

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