Italy beat Belgium: Giorgio Chiellini's warrior-like reaction to blocking De Bruyne shot

  • Kobe Tong

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Italy were warrior-like in their determination against Belgium on Friday night.

Belgium 1-2 Italy

Picking between the two European giants was an incredibly tough task ahead of their Euro 2020 quarter-final in Munich, but most punters would likely have favoured the world number ones.

However, Belgium's 'Golden Generation' will have to stomach yet more tournament disappointment as they finished on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at the Allianz Arena.

Italy cashed in their goals during the opening 45 minutes with Nicolo Barella showing great footwork for the opener and Lorenzo Insigne curling home what proved to be the winning goal for 2-0.

Belgium 1-2 Italy Highlights | Euro 2020 (Football Terrace)

Italy's heroic defending

Romelu Lukaku was up to his usual tricks with yet another goal at the European Championships, finding the net from the penalty spot, but the Red Devils were unable to complete a comeback.

And that was in no small part thanks to Italy's heroic defending throughout the second-half with Roberto Mancini's men doing everything in their power not to concede from own play.

Gianluigi Donnarumma made a series of stunning saves and there was heartbreak for Leonardo Spinazzola as he was forced off with an injury after dropping yet another masterclass.

However, you'd be forgiven for thinking that one of the old guard stood out as Italy's star man with Giorgio Chiellini, 36, rolling back the years with a performance for the ages against the Belgians.

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Chiellini blocks De Bruyne's screamer

When he wasn't belting out the national anthem with unrivalled gusto or celebrating victory with fans in the stands, you could rest assured that he was putting his body on the line for his nation.

And that couldn't have been more apparent than when the Juventus legend bravely put his head in the way of a Kevin De Bruyne thunderbolt during the first-half.

Considering how hard De Bruyne can strike the ball, putting your skill on the line is remarkable in itself, but what made Chiellini's block all the more brilliant was his reaction to doing so.

Proving once again that he's the most loveable lunatic in world football, Chiellini proceeded to look at De Bruyne and let him know that he enjoyed making the block. Check out the footage:

You love to see it. Somewhere, somehow, Roy Keane is clapping in unabashed admiration.

Chiellini: An Italian warrior

Even the biggest cynic of modern football must have loved the sight of a defender embracing the art of, well, defending by doing the old-fashioned work of simply putting one's body in front of the ball.

But make no mistake that Chiellini enjoying getting a good taste of De Bruyne's shot was just one instance of him endearing himself to football fans across the world with a Euro 2020 masterclass.

For all the youth that Mancini has so masterfully woven into his Italy side this summer, it speaks volumes that Chiellini has held his own against all the young talent playing around him.

There are some players that you simply can't replace and Chiellini - complete with his forehead of steel and heart of a lion - is most certainly one of them. Bring on the semi-finals.

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