Watch: Giorgio Chiellini smothers Jordi Alba with a smile on his face

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Giorgio Chiellini playfully punching Jordi Alba in the face

Italy had already won half the battle even before the penalty shootout began as Giorgio Chiellini used his large aura to dominate the timid-looking Jordi Alba during the coin toss after extra time.

On the surface, it appeared to be a wholesome moment between the two captains, but make no mistake it was villainy of the highest order with a smile on the face from the veteran Italian defender.

Second-half strikes from Federico Chiesa and Alvaro Morata meant that the semi-final tie ended 1-1 in normal time, and thirty additional minutes were required to separate the teams.

Wembley Stadium was teeming with nerves as the two teams had to rely on penalties to decide the winner.

Not only the thousands of fans but also the players looked visibly nervous about the potential outcome of the match–as the two teams balanced each other out in normal time, making it seem very unfair that a football lottery was to be required to separate them.

Amidst all of the nerves, there was one particular footballer who seemed to be immune to the overwhelming tension – the experienced Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.

As the two captains lined up in front of the German referee Felix Brych for the coin toss before the penalties, the Italian skipper decided to indulge in some high-energy roughhousing with his counterpart.

The Juventus defender greeted his opposite number, Jordi Alba, with a hug, and after a couple of jokes, even went on to smother the visibly nervous Barcelona full-back’s confidence with an embrace that lifted him off his feet.

Alba wasn’t comfortable at all, and Chiellini had won the psychological warfare game even before the penalties took place.

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By Surjit Patowary

Extremely passionate, detail-oriented when it comes to football. Obsessed with the news. Fact-checking is life!

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