Leonardo Bonucci has branded their Euro 2020 semi-final win over Spain on penalties at Wembley the ‘toughest game’ of his career.
The Italy forward Federico Chiesa scored a peach of an opening goal in the second half but saw his effort cancelled out by Alvaro Morata’s equaliser.
Neither side could find a winner in extra time after an enthralling game and an exhausted Chiesa reflected on the win.
“This is the toughest game I have ever played,” Bonucci told RAI Sport.
“I congratulate Spain for what they showed, but once again this Italy showed heart, determination and the ability to push through difficult moments and the lottery of penalties rewarded us.
“The victory you suffer for is always the most enjoyable one.
“We knew they could try a few surprises, as Luis Enrique has done that a few times in his career. They moved around a lot upfront and didn’t give us reference points, but we brought home a historic result with the heart of the Italians.”
The Azzurri will face England or Denmark, who meet on Wednesday and know an extension of their 33-game unbeaten run will see them lift the trophy.