Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish has joked that he would need to leave England in the event of them beating Italy in Sunday night’s Euro 2020 final.
As a Scotsman living in England, Dalglish is not likely to be among those celebrating should Gareth Southgate lead the Three Lions to their first international trophy in 55 years.
He quipped that he would need to get away from England to play golf for a year in the event of his rival nation lifting the trophy at Wembley.
The 70-year-old has however predicted that England will pip Italy to the post in the showpiece event to secure the silverware.
Dalglish wrote in his column for the Sunday Post : “Mancini has won many things as a player and manager, and he will be as determined as anyone to emerge victorious around 10pm.
“However, I think he will just be pipped by Gareth’s side.
“If my prediction is correct, then how will I feel as a Scotsman living in England? Well, I might just disappear and play golf for a year!
“On a more serious note, when a side has played well and overcome some challenges during this tournament – and if England do beat a team of Italy’s quality – then they can only be congratulated.”
Dalglish then went on to analysis the Italian side, who are unbeaten across their last 33 matches in all competitions – a run that stretches all the way back to September 2018.
He praised their defensive strengths and their ability to hurt opponents on the counter-attack, believing that they are dangerous opponents for anyone at this stage.
Dalglish did however highlight that Roberto Mancini’s squad are older and that they have played one extra time more – alongside an additional penalty shootout – in comparison to England.
The Scot added: “I believe they will look to hit the opposition on the counter-attack. Italy’s strengths are their goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and the two central defenders, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
“In advanced areas, Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile and Federico Chiesa have the ability to cause the England backline an uncomfortable 90 minutes.
“But what do Italy have left in the tank? They have an older squad than England and are bound to be a little bit spent at the end of a long tournament.
“They will need to call on all of their energy and experience for this one after the shifts they put in to defeat Belgium, Austria and Spain in the knock-out stages.
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“Beating Roberto Martinez’s Belgians was a brilliant effort, and that’s why they can’t be ruled out. The Italians are both resilient and talented.”
England’s highly anticipated clash against the Azzurri gets underway at 8pm at Wembley with the de facto hosts hopeful of winning their first tournament since the 1966 World Cup.
Italy are hopeful of lifting their first trophy since 2006, having been ousted in the final of Euro 2012 4-0 by Spain.