Jorginho, a discreet but "irreplaceable" presence in midfield, has been the cornerstone of Italy's resurgence from World Cup failure to the Euro 2021 semifinal. He is one of the Azzurri's Brazilian contingent along with teammate Emerson Palmieri. "This midfield, together with that of (Serie A champions) Inter Milan, is among the strongest I've ever played in.
Between us we create rivalries that push each other to do better and win," Barella added.Against the three-time European champions it will be another battle as Italy look to push their unbeaten run to 33 consecutive matches and move within one step of a title they last won in 1968. "With Spain it will be a difficult game, we are two similar teams who both want to play the ball," continued Barella.
Left-back Leonardo Spinazzola, another of the motors behind Italy's Euro 2020 run, will be out after rupturing his Achilles tendon against the Red Devils. Santos-native Emerson, another Champions League winner with the Blues, will likely step into that role this week.
Why did Jorginho choose to play for Italy over Brazil?
One of Italy's main attractions at the European Championship is midfielder Jorginho, who could be playing in another continental championship of national teams: the Copa America. Brazilian by birth, the Chelsea player opted for Italian citizenship and to defend the "Azzurra".
Born in Santa Catarina, Jorginho moved to Italy with his family in 2007. There he began his career in the youth ranks of Hellas Verona. In 2014, after excelling in the team, he was signed by Napoli , where he gained international prominence and began to speculate on both teams and ended up choosing the Europeans.