International

Pinpoint Jorginho hits Euros landmark in Italy win

Jorginho playing for Italy against Albania

Jorginho got his Euro 2024 campaign off to a winning start after Italy battled back from an early setback to beat Albania 2-1.

The holders were left stunned after 23 seconds when Nedim Bajrami made history by scoring the fastest-ever goal at a European Championship finals when he rifled a shot into the top corner, but the Azzurri didn’t let that affect them.

Within 16 minutes they found themselves in front after Alessandro Bastoni headed in at the back post to equalise, and then Nicolo Barella drove in a fine first-time finish from 20 yards to put his nation ahead five minutes later.

That’s how the scoreline remained as Italy held onto the victory they needed, which could prove crucial in the final shake-up, given they now have matches with Spain and Croatia on the horizon.

Jorgi played the full 90 minutes, winning his 54th cap in the process. During a dominant display by his team, he was influential in how his team played, and completed 120 of his 131 passes during his time on the field - the most of any midfielder at a Euros since Germany’s Toni Kroos in 2016. In fact, it's the third-highest tally on record since Euro 1980, with only Xavi's 127 passes in 2012 surpassing the pair.

Our midfielder also had more touches than any other player (136), and as well as his 92% pass completion accuracy he also recorded two interceptions and made a key pass.

He will now head into Thursday’s game with Spain looking for another big result to try and seal a spot in the last 16. La Roja ran out 3-0 victors over Croatia on Saturday, with David Raya an unused substitute as Unai Simon was once again preferred between the posts.

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