Giorgio Chiellini produced a beaming smile after throwing himself in front of a rasping strike from Kevin De Bruyne.
The Manchester City star unleashed a long-distance thunderbolt for Belgium against Italy in tonight’s Euro 2020 quarter-final in Munich, catching the effort with some serious venom.
But Italy captain Chiellini, with his undying love for defending, blocked the thunderbolt with his head and put the ball out for a corner.
And immediately after the brave block, the Juventus centre-back was seen smiling towards De Bruyne who also cracked a grin in what was a respectful and brilliant interaction between the pair.
Chiellini got a good taste of that KDB shot pic.twitter.com/aMZFAMZHq6
— Agon (@TheOneKun) July 2, 2021
Fans absolutely loved Chiellini taking one for the team and the exchange that followed:
Kevin De Bruyne powerful shot towards goal.
— Eddie ™ (@The_Mutai) July 2, 2021
What a monster Chiellini is. Many defenders won’t attack a De Bruyne shot with their head, and if they do they’re likely to sit down and need a minute. The Italian, on the other hand, was smiling.
— EBL (@EBL2017) July 2, 2021
— Laura Lawrence ⚽📚 (@YICETOR) July 2, 2021
How did De Bruyne’s shot just then not knock Chiellini out? pic.twitter.com/BpqXbSpfQu
— Aidan Millward (@Aidan_Millward) July 2, 2021
Italy went 2-0 up at the Allianz Arena courtesy of fine goals from Nico Barella and Lorenzo Insigne but Romelu Lukaku reduced the deficit with a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Jeremy Doku was bundled over by Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
Chiellini, meanwhile, was a hit on social media prior to kick-off when he could not hide his excitement over singing the Italian national anthem.
He’s just built differently. Passion oozing through his veins.
Chiellini at the start of the anthem. Love that lunatic. pic.twitter.com/Uru8DAvhNr
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) July 2, 2021