Sunday June 9 2019
Bonucci explains eye for Italy goal

Leonardo Bonucci revealed why he has such an eye for goal after scoring his seventh for Italy and what they still need to improve on.

The Azzurri won 3-0 away to Greece on Saturday evening, with goals from Nicolò Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and centre-back Bonucci.

“It was a good goal and a difficult one too. Emerson gave me a great ball, he’s accustomed to setting up Olivier Giroud and Gonzalo Higuain at Chelsea, but I tried to do my best!” the Juventus defender told Rai Sport.

This was his seventh goal in an Italy jersey, making him the Nazionale’s third most prolific defender behind Giorgio Chiellini on eight and Antonio Cabrini’s nine.

“I was a centre-forward in my youth and I wasn’t that bad, as I scored a few goals. My career was transformed when I went to the other end and tried to start moves from the back.”

The Azzurri kept their sixth consecutive clean sheet, the longest run since 1990, although there were a couple of scares.

“We made a few errors in defence and they were down to a superficial attitude. We have to work on that and maintain absolute concentration for 90 minutes.

“When we play the way we did for 60 minutes and then allow two clear-cut and avoidable chances to Greece, it’s only right that the Coach highlights those moments, as it’s where we need to improve.

“I was waiting for Marco Verratti to move and open up the space for Jorginho, but I waited too long and was caught out.

“It’s natural when you spend more time together training, it all becomes easier and you get to know each other, get to know how the Coach likes you to play.

“We need to whittle down a few defects before we can become a team that truly can challenge in any situation.”

Bonucci is one of the old guard who missed the 2018 World Cup and wants to give his all in Euro 2020.

“Having four years between major tournaments inevitably makes the desire to prove yourself build up, as we want to represent Italy and all be together under one flag in a great European Championship.”

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