Italy playmaker Jorginho says Nicolò Barella is ‘similar to N’Golo Kanté’ and sends a message to Christian Eriksen: ‘Stay strong.’
The Chelsea midfielder spoke at a press conference in Coverciano today.
The 29-year-old is one of Italy’s regular starters and played in the Azzurri’s 3-0 win over Turkey in the debut game of Euro 2020 on Friday.
Italy will face Switzerland in the second game of the group stage on Wednesday, and Jorginho said he and his teammates watched the Swiss’ game against Wales yesterday.
“We saw a good and organized team, we must be very careful because they’ve been playing under the same coach for many years and have many experienced players,” Jorginho said.
“We have our own identity, we want the ball, and we want to find the spaces, always looking ahead. Whoever is on the pitch must follow this idea,” the former Napoli man continued.
“It’s always nice to win and we always celebrate when we do so. However, we know this is a difficult competition and this team will always remain humble. We are working to win, but we know the next game is always the most difficult one.”
Marco Verratti returned to Italy training yesterday after missing the opening match of the European Championships due to a knee injury.
The PSG star may start on the bench against Switzerland but could be available for the game.
“We are looking forward to his return, he can be essential for us,” Jorginho said.
The Brazil-born midfielder with Italian citizenship won the Champions League with Chelsea in May and hopes to lift another piece of silverware before the end of this intense season.
“It was great [to win the Champions League]. It’s hard to find the words to describe that feeling. I have even more desire to win now, I’d like to feel the same with the national team.
“This group is similar to Chelsea. Everybody wants to win, the younger ones and the most experienced ones. Everyone wants to achieve something important,” Jorginho continued.
Even Nicolò Barella is reminiscent of one of his teammates in South London: N’Golo Kanté.
“They are very similar, they run for everybody, for 120 minutes, they cover the entire pitch and help us recover the ball. I think they are very similar,” Jorginho said.
“I am a lad who tries to help everybody. There are many players with personality here and we need everybody’s help: Chiellini, Bonucci, Insigne, Verratti, Immobile, Donnarumma. We need everybody, we can always do well,” he continued.
“When I was a child, I used to watch Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka. When I was 13, I met a coach who played me as a deep-lying playmaker, so Pirlo and Xavi became my role models.”
Jorginho also shared his thoughts on Christian Eriksen, who is in hospital after collapsing during Denmark vs. Finland yesterday.
The Inter midfielder is stable in hospital, where he is undergoing further medical examinations. Milan defender Simon Kjaer had a crucial role in helping stabilise his teammate on the pitch before doctors gave him urgent CPR.
“What happened yesterday is really strong,” said Jorginho.
“I was thinking about his teammates and his wife who was there. On behalf of all of us, I wish Eriksen and his family good luck. I tell him to be strong.”