REVEALED: Giorgio Chiellini taunted Jordi Alba after he thought the referee’s red coin meant SPAIN had won the first toss for their Euro 2020 semi-final shoot-out at Wembley… only for the Italy captain to playfully remind him he was wrong!
- Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini had an exchange with Spain skipper Jordi Alba before the tense semi-final penalty shoot-out at Wembley in Euro 2020
- It has now emerged it was caused by Alba’s misunderstand over the coin toss
- Alba thought he had won the first toss, when in fact it went to Chiellini’s Italy
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini might not have been the master of mind games that he appeared to be before his side’s victorious penalty shoot-out against Spain on Tuesday at Wembley.
Chiellini and Jordi Alba joined German referee Felix Brych for the coin toss before the penalties, with Chiellini appearing to confuse matters by contesting the outcome and giving Alba a bearhug and a gentle slap.
But it now emerges that while there might have been a bit of brinksmanship in Chiellini’s actions, the exchange was caused by a needlessly confusing coin toss.
The reasons behind Giorgio Chiellini and Jordi Alba’s playful clash at the coin toss before the penalty shoot-out in their Euro 2020 semi-final have become clear
Chiellini appeared to gently mock Alba after he was confused over the rules about the coin toss – with many drawing conclusions that the legendary Italian was playing mind game
Sportsmail can reveal that referee Brych had a coin that does not have a heads and tails on each side, but a blue and red. Blue for Italy and red for Spain, right? Wrong.
For this toss, blue represented Spain and red was for Italy.
Next, the referee oversees not one but two coin tosses. One to establish which end the penalties are taken at, and another to decide who picks whether they go first or second.
For the first toss, the players don’t choose which colour of the coin they have – that is down to the referee. So Byrch tossed the coin and it landed on red, which he had assigned to Italy.
Alba thought he had won as Spain often play in red and Italy play in blue but Chiellini correctly knew he had actually got it, and the penalties would be taken at Italy’s end of the stadium.
According to the Italian publication Corriere della Sera, Chiellini jokingly called Alba a ‘liar’ as he claimed Spain had won the toss.
Chiellini then won the second toss and decided Italy will shoot first before giving Alba a bearhug and appearing to joke around with him about the, understandable, confusion.
Josep Pedrerol, presenter of Spanish TV show El Chiringuito, insisted it was ‘humiliating’ for Alba during his live post-match reaction – believing that the supposed mind games from Chiellini were clearly having had the desired effect.
Alba was filling in as Spain captain, taking over with the armband after Sergio Busquets had been replaced in the 105th minute by Thiago Alcantara.
After it was established where the penalties were being taken, Chiellini hugged the Spain captain Alba before their teams faced off in a dramatic penalty shoot-out
Italy won the shoot-out with midfielder Jorginho (centre) hit the decisive penalty
Chiellini’s call to put Italy in for the first penalty may have felt like it was backfiring when Manuel Locatelli missed the opening spot-kick.
But Italy had a reprieve when Dani Olmo also missed Spain’s first spot-kick. Alvaro Morata then missed another one for Spain, with Chelsea midfielder Jorginho coolly slotting home the decisive penalty to send Italy into the final.
Italy will face the winner out of England and Denmark, who meet at Wembley on Wednesday night. The final is on Sunday night.
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