Juventus

Giorgio Chiellini calls Paul Pogba the 'LeBron James of football' & discusses Euro 2020 win

Jack Gallagher
Chiellini had a lot to say
Chiellini had a lot to say / Ciancaphoto Studio/GettyImages
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Giorgio Chiellini has hailed Paul Pogba as the 'LeBron James of football' and revealed why Italy beat England in the Euro 2020 final in an in-depth interview.

The Juventus legend played alongside a young Pogba for four seasons, winning four Scudetti and two Coppa Italia in that period.

Speaking to The Times, the defender recalled when he first saw the French midfielder in training. "Pogba is the LeBron James of football. Really, when I see him growing up it’s fantastic," he recalled.

"When I saw him that first week of training I said, ‘What? He is not real!’ He was from Manchester United, so I expected to meet a good player but I also thought if he is not playing for United he cannot be a top one. But he was."

As well as heaping praise on Pogba, Chiellini admitted that he is disappointed that the midfielder hasn't consistently shown what he's capable of since moving to Manchester United in 2016.

"He was different from the others and I’m sad that [since re-joining United] he is not showing completely what he is. He has done fantastic in many matches but has not been lucky, with injuries and for other reasons. He has not been able to show, continuously, all his skill.”

The defender also took the time to discuss Italy's Euro 2020 triumph - which he was a key part of - and why the Azzurri were able to best England at Wembley in the final.

"They [England] were under more pressure than us and sometimes pressure is a fuel, but sometimes it’s an obstacle. We felt those feelings. We felt this fear. Well maybe not fear... but their nerves, this tension.

"At half-time our dressing room was calm. If we have the ball, surely we’ll score. Surely we will find the solution. Keeping hold of our emotion was the most important thing for us. And we were lucky in penalty kicks. A draw was the right result for that game."

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