My encounter with Arsenal ace Saka, says Italy Euros winner Chiellini

Italy Euros winner, Giorgio Chiellini, has recalled hauling down Bukaya Saka during last year’s final triumph against England.

It was one of the key moments from the Wembley showpiece and possibly denied the Three Lions their first tournament win since the 1966 World Cup.

It came with just seconds left on the clock and the scores level at 1-1.

Arsenal man Saka broke free of the Italian veteran and was set to bear down on goal.

But Chiellini had other ideas and pulled the England man’s shirt to haul him down.

Looking back at the moment, the Italian said: “This became the symbol of Euro 2020 as 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.”

A laughing Chiellini continued: “When he wriggled round from behind and had that space to run into my reaction was to grab him.

“And I grabbed him good!”

Chiellini escaped with just a booking and the match would go to extra-time and eventually penalties in which Italy triumphed 3-2.

Saka refused to shake his hand after the match.

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