Italy stalwart Leonardo Bonucci has, on Friday, moved to heap praise on Harry Kane, ahead of the fast-approaching Euro 2020 finale.
The latest edition of the European Championships is of course set to come to a head on Sunday night.
After navigating their respective paths through the tournament in style, Italy and England will face off at Wembley, for the right to call themselves the continent’s finest international outfit.
The former have proven, in the eyes of many, the standout performers of the summer, having waltzed through the group stage with a perfect three wins from three, before ousting heavyweights Belgium and Spain en route to this weekend’s showpiece.
Italy are so close to tying the international record for longest unbeaten streak 😮 🇮🇹
They’ll join some legendary company 👏 pic.twitter.com/YixRINB8eh
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 8, 2021
Gareth Southgate’s England, though, have too impressed the masses over the course of the last month.
The Three Lions, like their upcoming opponents, have remained unbeaten to date, with a group stage stalemate with Scotland the only blotch on an otherwise flawless tournament CV.
It is the knockout rounds of the Euros, though, which have seen England truly begin to turn heads across the continent.
Having previously, across the nation’s history, managed just a solitary victory beyond the group stages of the European Championships, Southgate and co. have since downed Germany in comfortable fashion, Ukraine by 4 goals to nil, and, most recently, a stout Danish side.
Central to such efforts, meanwhile, has been the upturn in form being enjoyed by star hitman Harry Kane.
After failing to find the net across his first three appearances of the tournament, Spurs standout Kane has since notched on four occasions in his latest three outings.
The 27-year-old will need to be at his best to make it five in four on Sunday, though, ahead of a showdown with one of world football’s most widely respected defensive partnerships – Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
In turn, speaking to the media ahead of Italy’s showdown with the Three Lions in 48 hours’ time, the former was today drawn on the threat posed by Kane, and the rest of England’s attackers.
‘Well it’s youngsters versus veterans, let’s say,’ Bonucci began.
‘The English forwards are very strong and great players, so we’ll need to be very cautious in our defence and the whole team must be very cautious.’
From here, the Juventus veteran was keen to single Kane out for special praise, labelling the hitman ‘one of the best in the world’, in explaining:
‘We know how they can bring difficulties for us, so we’ll need to pay a lot of attention to the pace, and to the quickness of their forwards like Harry Kane and others.’
‘Kane is a very famous player, he’s been doing very well at Tottenham, for the national team and he’s one of the best strikers in the world.’
‘In our last three matches we’ve had the chance to meet three of the best forwards in the world, and the plan is to do better and not let anything go in any moment of the game.’
Safe to say, the outcome of the Kane vs Bonucci/Chiellini battle could well prove to be the decisive factor in England’s quest for a first-ever European Championship title.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) July 9, 2021