Precisely 39 years on from winning the World Cup, Antonio Cabrini believes Italy can take the UEFA EURO 2020 trophy. ‘England will make a mistake.’
The Final kicks off at Wembley Stadium at 20.00 UK time.
The fact they are playing on home turf, with only circa 7,000 Italy fans expected in a stadium hosting at least 70,000, makes England the natural favourites.
“Not as far as I am concerned,” Cabrini told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“England started strong and did very well, they have improved thanks to Gareth Southgate’s work, but they have a few weaknesses. If we make the most of them, then we’ve got a very good chance.”
While the Three Lions only conceded one goal in the tournament, and that was a ferocious Mikkel Damsgaard free kick, 1982 World Cup winner Cabrini is not concerned.
“It’s your classic English defence, solid, but not very focused. Maguire, Walker, the goalkeeper Pickford, they’re all good players, but not exceptional.
“What Italy need to do is keep a clear head, be patient and wait for the right moment. England will make a mistake, it’s just about knowing when it’ll happen and being ready to strike.”
It was on July 11, 1982 that Italy won the World Cup, but Cabrini feels that 39 years later, Roberto Mancini has already done enough to be satisfied.
“Don’t forget where we were three years ago. Whether he wins or loses tonight, this is a winning project and Mancini cannot be judged on just one result.
“I do see similarities with the 1982 squad in the unity between the lads. I certainly hope it ends like that, too.”
Some in the Italian media have focused on the dubious penalty awarded in extra time to beat Denmark as a sign that England are favoured.
“We mustn’t get caught up in these things, they are distracting and nothing else. We don’t need any favours. If we play like Italy, then we will win.”