Conor Clancy Date: 9th July 2021 at 3:15pm
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Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci is under no illusions as to how important Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against England is for his country.

The Juventus and Azzurri defender has impressed this summer alongside Giorgio Chiellini, with the pair winding back the years to put in a series of dominant performances.

“Winning on Sunday would be hugely important for Italian football,” Bonucci told the press at Coverciano on Friday. “For every single player, for the Federation and because it would completely delete the memories of three difficult years.

“It would be a huge injection of joy and of belief for the Italian people.”

Bonucci conitnued to praise the work of coach Roberto Mancini, who has led Italy on a 33-game unbeaten run.

“As soon as Mancini joined I knew that we’d leave the past behind quickly and forget the disappointment of missing the 2018 World Cup,” Bonucci added. “He worked on our heads, he restored our self-esteem and he added the quality that lets you win.

“Three years ago, reaching the final would have seemed like utopia. The extra year of experience has helped us, and we’re playing with a lot of talent in midfield that has made things easier.”