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Euro 2020: Bonucci comments ahead of Italy’s semifinal match against Spain

Leonardo Bonucci says Italy is “thriving on the occasion”, as they prepare for a successful first semi-final of Euro 2020 to face Spain at Wembley on Tuesday. “We are thriving on this occasion, we have come this far and we will do everything we can to make the Italians proud of this Azzurri team,” said the strong Juventus defender on the eve of the game. Bonucci said Italy wants to dedicate the final to teammate Leonardo Spinazzola, who suffered an Achilles tendon rupture in Friday’s 2-1 quarter-final win against Belgium in Munich.

This result led Roberto Mancini’s team to an impressive 32 game unbeaten run, after seeing Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales in Rome in the group stage, beating Austria 2–1 after extra time at Wembley in eighth place. It has essentially increased confidence at home, and Italy are now widely regarded as the favorite against Spain.

“We have had a flawless race so far, but even if there are some problems in Spain, we need to put this aside and really focus on what we need to do, where we need to improve,” said the 34 years old Central defender. “We just have to be motivated by the fact that we are facing such a big and prestigious team in an amazing field like Wembley knowing we can be in the final in just a few days.”

More than 60,000 fans will be allowed to come inside the 90,000-capacity stadium after the British government eases restrictions on the coronavirus that are in place during the tournament. However, the crowd will be almost entirely British due to restrictions placed on fans from both sides entering the UK.

“It’s quite unfair if I’m being completely honest, very unfair indeed. That being said, it’s better to play in front of any crowd as opposed to a small number of people, but I think it’s unfair that we don’t have half the stadium full of Italian fans and the other half full of Spaniards,” lamented Italian coach Roberto Mancini.

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