To make the run to the Euro 2020 title that it did, Italy got a whole lot of contributions from a whole lot of people. And while Juventus’ contingent on Italy’s roster wasn’t nearly as large as it was as compared to previous major tournaments, two of the Azzurri’s best players just happened to call Turin home and wore Bianconero a large portion of the last year.
Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Chiesa were two of Italy’s five representatives on UEFA’s Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament list that was released Tuesday morning. Along with the two Juventinos, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, fullback Leonardo Spinazzola and midfielder Jorginho were named to the 11-player squad.
England had three players named to the team (Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker), while Denmark (Pierre-Emile Højbjerg), Spain (Pedri) and Belgium (Romelu Lukaku) each had one player selected.
Introducing the official Team of the Tournament for #EURO2020— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 13, 2021
Who would be your captain? pic.twitter.com/goGLi6qQzj
Bonucci, who had an up and down club season with Juventus, played some of his most consistent ball in quite a while at Euro 2020. The mistake-prone form that he had during the 2020-21 season was non-existent — a big reason why Italy was able to have the defensive record it did have for much of the tournament. And while some folks might have leaned toward including teammate Giorgio Chiellini in this spot, Bonucci definitely played well enough to earn a spot on the Team of the Tournament.
A stat of just how good Italy’s two center-backs were: Bonucci and Chiellini finished Euro 2020 without being being successfully dribbled past by an opposition player or making an error leading to a shot by the opposing team, according to Squawka.
Chiesa, meanwhile, took a different kind of route to being included in this squad. He was originally one of Roberto Mancini’s first choices to come off the bench, with Domenico Berardi starting Italy’s first two group stage games. Chiesa was one of the many Italy players who got their first start of the tournament in the group stage finale against Wales. But unlike a lot of his teammates, Chiesa ended up becoming a major piece in the starting lineup come the knockout rounds — and only got better as the tournament went on. Chiesa scored in Italy’s wins over Austria — the only knockout round game where he came off the bench — and in the Euro 2020 semifinal against Spain that the Azzurri won on penalties.
Bonucci and Chiesa both contributed to Juventus’ European Championship-record 12 goals, with the former recording the 12th and final tally when he found the back of the net against England in Sunday night’s final.