Leonardo Spinazzola wrote a letter to his Italy teammates ahead of this evening’s EURO 2020 Final against England: ‘We have one last battle left.’
The 28-year-old picked up an Achilles tendon injury in the quarter-finals against Belgium.
He has already undergone surgery and travelled to London with the team. Tonight he will be in the stands at Wembley Stadium to cheer on the Azzurri.
La Stampa has published a letter by the Roma defender: “If I went back in time, I would sprint for the ball again. I would do it 100 times again, trying to earn a meter on the opponent and shift the game on our side. It’s nothing special, these are the Azzurri’s rules,” Spinazzola wrote.
“After all, you only cross the line if you are ready to give your soul to your teammates. The injury took me off the field but could not separate me from the group. My son Mattia, who is only three years old, understood that his dad could not remain on the couch at home to watch the game tonight.
“I am thrilled, I can’t hide it. When I got into the aeroplane, I felt I was reborn a little. In a few hours, I will be on the pitch with my teammates and in the stands with the rest of the country. It could have been better, but it could have been worse.
“We have the last battle of this Euros at Wembley. A tournament that I will carry inside forever. From the magic nights of the Stadio Olimpico to the temple of football against the hosts, we’ve come a long way.
“In my case, fate has added a few more kilometres to this journey: a stage of suffering in Finland, to adjust the Achilles Tendon.
“Now, I am ready. I feel I have still so much to give. I will return on the wings in a few months, but I like to think this evening we’ll be sprinting all together.
“I toy with the idea of seeing Bryan Cristante, the first teammate who consoled me after the injury, lifts something more meaningful than my head. Here we are. Forza Azzurri!”