Brazilian hero Roberto Carlos is adamant Italy deserved to win UEFA EURO 2020, will challenge at the 2022 World Cup and that Chelsea ‘ought to build a statue’ of Jorginho.
The Azzurri lifted the trophy for the first time since 1968, beating England in a penalty shoot-out at Wembley Stadium when the Final ended 1-1 after extra time.
“Roberto Mancini’s men didn’t just win because they played positive football and did so as a team. They also had the right mentality,” Roberto Carlos told La Repubblica newspaper.
“That’s the only way you can get past the pass masters of Spain and the physicality of England. Italy grew over the course of the competition, they were in good shape physically and deserved the title.”
Italy had two Brazil-born players in their squad, Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri, who have taken Italian citizenship.
“Any top team would miss Jorginho, including Brazil. He has technique, vision and this ice-cool calm. He always knows the best thing to do.
“Plus he’s also fantastic at winning back the ball, his positioning is remarkable in that sense. Jorginho was decisive for Italy, and for Chelsea. After he helped them win the Europa League and then Champions League, the English fans ought to build a statue of him.”
He took Chelsea to the Europa League under Maurizio Sarri in 2019, then followed that with the Champions League in 2021.
In 141 competitive games with the Blues jersey, he has scored 17 goals and provided four assists.
The World Cup will be in Qatar in November and December 2022, so who does Roberto Carlos see from Europe challenging for the trophy?
“As well as Italy, I think France. Belgium and Germany will have their say too, but Didier Deschamps has a more complete squad, more technically gifted and ambitious.
“As for Spain, it’ll take time to see them reach the level of the last decade. There’s talent there, but you don’t get many players like Xavi and Andres Iniesta.”