‘You DON’T say that’: Leonardo Bonucci takes aim at Declan Rice for saying England were ’10 times more motivated to win’ than Italy ahead of Euro 2020 final
- Declan Rice said that England would be ‘ready 10 times harder’ than Italy
- Yet Italy came out on top at Euro 2020 after winning via a penalty shoot-out
- Leonardo Bonucci now says Rice’s comment acted as motivation for the Italians
- He added that ‘It’s Coming Home’ triggered an anger in the Azzurri camp
Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci has had a dig at England’s Declan Rice over a motivation comment made ahead of the Euro 2020 final.
West Ham midfielder Rice, who was a key player for England at the Euros, said ahead of July’s showpiece at Wembley that ‘we will be ready for it 10 times harder than they (Italy) will.’
But in an interview with The Athletic, Juventus centre back Bonucci – who scored Italy’s equaliser in the final and was named ‘Star of the Match’ – claimed Rice made ‘a mistake’ as his words only spurred on the Italians, as did England’s iconic ‘It’s Coming Home’ song.
Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci has had a dig at England’s Declan Rice over a motivation comment made ahead of the Euro 2020 final
Bonucci scored the equaliser in the final which Italy went on to win in a penalty shoot-out
‘We didn’t pay much attention to it (It’s Coming Home) until the Spain game,’ Bonucci said.
‘Then the anger inside of us began to mount. We wanted to show them that the final hadn’t already been decided. That they hadn’t already won.
‘Hearing that song on repeat and the comment from Declan Rice saying England were 10 times more motivated to win than us… well, they’re the kind of mistakes young players make.
‘You don’t say that. You should never say you want something more than somebody else or you’re better than somebody else.’
Bonucci compared England’s approach to the game to the Italians, insisting that Roberto Mancini’s side were ‘never presumptuous’ about winning at Wembley.
Bonucci was named ‘Star of the Match’ for his role in the final as Italy triumphed at Wembley
‘You should always put yourself on the same level as your opponent, keep a low profile and strike at the right moment,’ he said. ‘That’s what we did.
‘We never said we were going to win, just that we were an inch away from going all the way and getting the right result. We were never presumptuous about it. We stayed humble and that’s what made the difference.’
Italy came out on top in a penalty shoot-out after England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their spot-kicks at Wembley, handing Mancini’s men the trophy in England’s backyard.