The first of two Euro 2020 semi-finals this week pits Jorginho and Emerson’s Italy against Cesar Azpilicueta’s Spain, and the Chelsea skipper has been discussing the impressive impact made at the tournament by our vice-captain.
Jorginho has been a standout performer in the heart of the Italy midfield, dictating the tempo of their play with his typically accurate and incisive passing, as well as his willingness to do the dirty work when required, such as in the Azzurri’s hard-fought 2-1 victory over Belgium on Friday night.
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- How Spain reached the Euro 2020 semi-final
- Emerson's Italian journey in his own words
Azpilicueta, who started the tournament on the bench but has made himself indispensable at right-back for Spain, knows all too well what impact Jorginho can have. Stopping that could prove pivotal at Wembley on Tuesday night.
‘Jorginho is a great player,’ said Azpi.
‘He has shown both in Chelsea and in Italy that he is important to make the game go round.
‘He likes to have the ball and control the game. He is an intelligent player: the less he is a protagonist on Tuesday, the more chance we will have to control the game and qualify for the final.
‘We have a WhatsApp group with our Chelsea team-mates, but it will be nice to meet him again on the pitch,’ added Azpi.
‘Sometimes when you are in the national team, you face your club team-mates. It is a natural thing, and one of the reasons why football is great.’