Jurgen Klinsmann has praised Italy‘s ‘football from the best category’ as they ground out a tight 2-1 win against Belgium in their Euro 2020 quarter-final on Friday.
The Azzurri booked a semi-final date with Spain after a sparkling attacking display early on followed by a resolute defensive showing late on to secure the victory at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
And Klinsmann stated the result means the world to all their fans given the country suffered particularly badly from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jurgen Klinsmann praised Italy’s ‘football from the best category’ after they beat Belgium 2-1
The ex-Germany and Bayern Munich boss said the result would ‘mean the world’ to Italian fans
He said: ‘From the first day Italy had a presence and knocked on the door and wanted to signal to everyone they wanted to win this championship, and they’ve proven that now game by game.
‘It means the world to all their fans. Italy suffered a lot through Covid, especially in the northern region in Milan and Bergamo, so this is fantastic. When it matters to defend a result it’s tough to crack the Italians.
‘They know how to waste time here and there. What they showed on the attacking side was impressive – this is football from the best category.’
Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne scored first-half goals before Romelu Lukaku scored a penalty in stoppage time just before the interval, all three goals coming in a breathless, breathtaking 16-minute period.
Fellow pundit Alan Shearer also hailed Italy’s all-round performance from the quarter-final
Azzurri supporters can now look forward to a semi-final date with Spain on Tuesday July 6
Fellow pundit Alan Shearer hailed Italy’s all-round performance as they held out against the world’s No 1 ranked side.
He added: ‘When we were at Wembley and saw them against Austria they had to show something different. In tonight’s performance, it had everything.
‘Quality up front, strong in midfield, in the last 20 minutes they had to defend for their life and they did it superbly.
‘The two old guys at the back were brilliant. It was a big talking point whether Lukaku would get in behind them and if they would get done for pace but they stood firm with everything Belgium threw at them.’
Roberto Mancini’s side will now face Spain in the semi-final on Tuesday July 6 at 8pm BST.
This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk