Cesar Azpilicueta has told his international teammates to be aware of fellow Chelsea midfielder, Jorginho, as Spain and Italy prepare to face-off in the semi-final of Euro 2020 at Wembley on Tuesday night.
The Italian midfielder has been one of the players of the tournament so far and has shown no signs of slowing down ahead of the all-important match-up in north London.
Although they are friends off the pitch, Azpilicueta insisted that he will forget his close relationship with Jorginho when they play each other on Tuesday.
“We have a chat between Chelsea players – as is normal,” Azpilicueta told Sky Italia.
“We will see each other on the pitch on Tuesday, but this is football: sometimes , when you are in the national team, you face your teammates. It is a natural thing.
“We will all give our best for our nations and to qualify for the final.”
Jorginho completed 70 of the 71 passes he attempted across 90 minutes as Italy beat Belgium 2-1 on Friday.
Right foot, left foot. Short and long. Under pressure or when given time. Nothing impacted the 29-year-old’s ability to find a teammate and to keep Roberto Mancini’s side in control of their quarter-final.
On the other hand, Spain are certainly underdogs going into the game after they edged past Switzerland on penalties, and Azpilicueta believes they have to prevent Jorginho from dictating the game if they are going to get through to the final.
“Jorginho is a great player . He has shown both in Chelsea and in Italy that he is important to make the game go round,” he added.
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“He likes to have the ball and control the game. He is an intelligent player: the less protagonist he will be on Tuesday, the more chance we will have to control the game.”
Tuesday’s semi-final kicks off at 8pm with the winner set to face England or Denmark on July 11.