Giorgio Chiellini has opened up on his famous shirt-pull on Bukayo Saka during Italy’s Euro 2020 final win against England last summer.
The Three Lions had led through an early Luke Shaw goal before Leonardo Bonucci equalised and the match went all the way to a penalty shootout, with Saka missing the crucial spot kick.
With time running out during the opening 90 minutes, Arsenal star Saka had looked to break away, but his shirt was yanked back by a tired Chiellini.
Reflecting on the incident, Chiellini said: “This became the symbol of Euro 2020 as a whole. The most heavily used meme of summer 2021. It was probably one of the only mistakes I made during the Euros.
“It was in the 90th minute and I’d read the flight of the ball, thinking I could shepherd it out of play when really I could have controlled it. But I was convinced I could put my body between Saka and the ball and let it go out of play, but he wriggled round me.
“When he wriggled round from behind and had that space to run into my reaction was to grab him. And I grabbed him good!”
Saka bounced back well from Euro 2020 heartache to have a storming season at club level with Arsenal. Fresh from international glory, Chiellini played out his final campaign for Juventus and is set to move to MLS side Los Angeles FC.
England and Italy drew 0-0 on Saturday in a Nations League rematch of the Euro 2020 final.