Italy left back Leonardo Spinazzola said he benefited from the “charismatic” presence of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in central defence as the Azzurri stormed to a commanding 3-0 win over Turkey in Friday’s European Championship opener.
After a goalless first half, a Merih Demiral own goal and strikes by Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne sent Italy to the top of group A, extending the team’s unbeaten run to 28 games.
It was also the 12th clean sheet in the last 13 games for the Italians, who had failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“Chiellini and Bonucci, just seeing them out there makes you feel a lot more secure because they have great charisma, great experience and they read the game very well,” said Spinazzola, who was a constant threat on the left side.
“So simply being near them on the pitch really gives you a big helping hand.
“I played and trained alongside Giorgio for a year at club level (at Juventus), so I know just how hard he works in training. I know just how switched on he is throughout the 90 minutes and he’s able to really convey that to everyone else.”
Italy next face Switzerland in their second group-stage game on Wednesday at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.