Italy progressed to the semi-finals of the European Championships with a 2-1 win over Belgium in a pulsating game in Munich last night.
Considered as the tie of the round at the quarter-final stage of the competition, both sides put on a show to leave millions of those watching dubbing it as the ‘Game of the Tournament’.
Although Italy got the job done thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella and a stunner from Lorenzo Insigne, Belgium made a real go of it themselves, with the game constantly going backwards and forwards in a breathtaking spectacle.
Although it was Barella and Insigne that took the headlines for guiding Roberto Mancini’s side to a last-four showdown with Spain at Wembley on Tuesday evening, it was the performance of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho that got plenty of people talking.
Once again, the former Napoli ace was absolutely outstanding in the middle of the park, dictating the tempo of the game, breaking up play and instigating Italian attacks. He was nothing more than a joy to watch in the centre of the pitch and it once again highlighted why he is so crucial to the way that this free-flowing, vibrant Italian team play.
Jorginho, who soon cemented himself as a key player in Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel’s plans following the German’s January arrival, has started all five of Italy’s matches at this tournament, playing every minute except for the final quarter of an hour in the Group A finale against Wales, meaning he has racked up 465 minutes worth of action at this tournament.
He also possesses a 95 per cent passing accuracy, meaning he is right up there in that statistical category.
Whilst Jorginho has often been a player that has divided opinion, he has certainly swung the tide in his favour in the last few weeks in terms of the way people view and consider him as a player.
And that brings him back to a statement he made more than two years ago, when he was growing under pressure in his first season at Stamford Bridge as a Chelsea player.
Back then, he vowed to prove his doubters wrong and he has most certainly done that.
“They have their right to criticise and I have the right to disagree,” he said, speaking on Football Focus back in March 2019.
“I will prove them wrong and they will learn how to appreciate the way I play.”
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You do not have to be a Chelsea or Italy supporter to appreciate how Jorginho has played throughout Euro 2020 so far. He has been nothing short of sensational and is the unsung hero of his national side.
In truth, his performances for Chelsea since Tuchel arrived at the club have also been impressive, so much so that the German made a special case for heaping praise on his shoulders back in April.
“Jorgi is a bit more the strategic guy who helps us in the build-up and he makes good decisions and helps us to escape the pressure,” Tuchel said.