Leonardo Bonucci is confident Italy’s old guard can use all of their experience to avoid being given the runaround by England’s young frontline in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday.
Veteran Juventus duo Bonucci, 34, and Giorgio Chiellini, 36, have more than 200 caps between them, the established bedrock of Roberto Mancini’s well-drilled side which has gone unbeaten through 33 games.
England are expected to present the toughest examination yet of the Italians’ ageing central partnership, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane both looking to add to their tally while Arsenal’s 19-year-old winger Bukayo Saka will be hoping for another chance to impress.
Jose Mourinho once claimed the Juve pair could give lectures on the art of defending at Harvard University, having seen them help secure a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
And Bonucci is not about to let anything distract focus from producing another masterclass alongside Chiellini to help keep England quiet in front of a partisan Wembley crowd.
“It is the youngsters versus the veterans,” Bonucci said at a press conference from Italy’s training base in Coverciano, Florence on Friday.
“The English forwards are very strong and are great players, so the whole team must be very cautious in our defence.
“We know how they can bring difficulties for us, so we will need to pay a lot of attention to the pace and quickness of their forwards like Harry Kane and the others.”
Bonucci added: “On Sunday we will have great players in the one-on-ones, but I am very confident because all of our players will give 100 per cent to bring something historic home.”