Cesar Azpilicueta says it will be good to be reunited with Jorginho when Spain face Italy in the Euro 2020 semi-finals – but admits he’s worried about the threat his Chelsea teammate poses.
The two Stamford Bridge stars will return to London on Tuesday as Italy get set to take on Spain in the first semi-final at Wembley. It’s one of the most heavily anticipated matches of the tournament so far, and Italy are narrow favourites – partially thanks to the control Jorginho offers in midfield.
The 29-year-old playmaker came into the tournament off the back of a formidable season at Chelsea, where he and Azpilicueta won the Champions League before going their separate ways on international duty. He has followed up his impressive club form by playing virtually every minute at the Euros, binding the Italy midfield together and dictating the tempo throughout their impressive run to the semi-finals.
Azpilicueta knows better than most what Jorginho is capable of, and speaking to Sky Sport Italia, he said he wants to see Spain limit how often he sees the ball.
“We have a WhatsApp group with our Chelsea teammates, but it will be nice to meet him again on the pitch,” Azpilicueta said.
“That’s why football is great, now we are going to give the best for our national teams. Jorginho has proved to be a crucial player for Italy.
“He has important qualities, he likes to keep the ball in his feet and control the game. If we limit his involvement, we’ll have more chances to qualify for the final.”
Spain go into the semi-final buoyed by their penalty shootout victory over Switzerland in the last round. Their performances haven’t been entirely convincing so far, but they have made a habit of getting through games, and pose a real goal threat with 12 to their name so far.
Azpilicueta got one of those with a thumping header against Croatia, and another wouldn’t go amiss against the Italians as Spain look to win the tournament for the fourth time in their history.