Connect with us


Liverpool target Riccardo Calafiori delivers stunning performance as Italy book a place in the Euro 2024 knockout round

Liverpool-linked Italy centre-back Riccardo Calafiori delivered a spectacular performance as the Azzurri booked their place in the knockout round of the 2024 European Championship with a 1-1 draw against Croatia.

Croatia had taken the lead through Luka Modric, pegging Italy back, but Calafiori took matters upon himself to ensure Italy’s place in the next round in the dying minutes.

The Bologna defender steamrolled from defence to attack, setting up Mattia Zaccagni, who deftly curled a gorgeous hit beyond Dominik Livakovic in the Croatia goal to draw Italy level.

The result allowed Italy to finish second in Group B behind Spain. La Roja defeated Albania, ensuring maximum points.

Besides the assist, Calafiori was excellent throughout the game. He completed 57 of his 61 passes against the 2018 World Cup finalists.

He also showed the creative side of his game, creating one big chance and delivering three key passes. Defensively, he was solid, making five clearances and winning 100% of his aerial duels.

Calafiori showed why Liverpool are reportedly fighting for his signature. The 22-year-old is a rumoured target, and his showing justified the interest in him.

The Rome-born defender has been one of the tournament’s standout players. He delivered a sensational performance against Albania but had scored the own goal that allowed Spain to beat Italy.

Calafiori showed resilience, bouncing back with a terrific outing to put his name back on the transfer map.

Calafiori will make an excellent understudy to Virgil Van Dijk, who is entering the final year of his contract and the twilight of his career.

Van Dijk can help the former Roma defender get acclimatised to the Premier League before he eventually succeeds him.

Liverpool fans have long longed for a left-footed centre-half, and Calafiori could be the man to take that role. He can also provide cover for Andy Robertson at left-back.

Signing Calafiori could be a masterstroke, especially with the Reds set to miss out on first-choice target Leny Yoro, who wants a move to Real Madrid.

More in Liverpool