Updated July 7, 2021 at 12:42 PM
- Before the penalty shootout between Italy and Spain, Giorgio Chiellini confused the team with a bright smile on his face.
- Among other things, the Italian captain jokingly calls his counterpart, Jordi Alba, a liar, before hugging him warmly.
- Rarely does someone take a coin in a good mood.
Coin toss, lively discussions – then a warm hug: Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini’s gesture moved toward Spain captain Jordi Alba before the penalty shootout in the European Football Championship semi-final between the two teams. Many viewers on TV and in the stadium in London – and questions asked. What was behind the scenes with referee Felix Brych when choosing the team before the penalty shootout?
One thing first: Indeed, a situation like this before the penalty shootout is tense on both sides and at least Spain captain Jordi Alba can see it clearly. Fully understandable in light of the nervous excitement the two teams provided over the course of 120 minutes.
On the other hand, Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini smiled as if he had nothing better than a penalty shootout in front of his chest.
Ambiguity when tossing a coin
When tossing a coin to pick a side, the Spaniard wasn’t clear as to which side would win. Chiellini immediately made sure of his ability to shoot at the Italian goal. Alba thought the goal would be shot in front of the Spanish fans – apparently also because the German referee was not easy to understand due to the atmosphere in the stadium.
The spirited Chiellini took the situation with humor, joked, gently pushed the Spaniard and shouted “Liar, liar!”.
The Italian also decided which team to start. Chiellini accepted the election with a big smile and wished Alba all the best with a handshake and a warm hug.
However, Alba returned neither a gesture nor a hug, but rather he tolerated it. Perhaps he was already suspicious of what was to come: in the end, Italy won on penalties against Spain 4-2. The unlucky player with the Spaniards was Alvaro Morata, of all people, who equalized in the 80th minute.
Chiellini had to laugh more after the match. (sca / dba)
After winning 4-2 on penalties, Italy reached the final of the European Championship – much to the chagrin of the Spanish fans.