Italy star Nicolo Barella hails ‘inspirational’ Spain duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta ahead of La Roja showdown

Italy midfield star Nicolo Barella has paid Spain a major compliment ahead of their Euro 2020 semi final showdown on July 6.

Barella has played a central role in the Azzurri’s march to the last four, with the Inter Milan schemer starting four of their five games in the competition, and netting a key goal against Belgium in the quarter finals.

However, despite continuing his rapid rise so far at Euro 2020, the 24-year-old is clear who his mentors have been in the formative years of his career.

Barella claimed that Barcelona‘s iconic duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who won three major titles with La Roja between 2008 and 2012, have set the standard for all modern midfielders.

Xavi and Andres Iniesta

“Spain had great champions who inspired us all, such as Xavi and Iniesta”, as per reports from Marca.

“It is easy to say they inspired us (midfielders), but they inspired all those who love football.

“I have different characteristics to my game, but I have great respect for them.

Sergio Busquets has also been among the best in the world for years, in both Spain and Barcelona. You just have to congratulate him for that, and now they also have Pedri and Koke.”

Barella is expected to keep his starting place in Roberto Mancini’s midfield against Spain at Wembley, with the former Manchester City boss appearing to be settled on a central trio of Barella, Marco Verratti and Jorginho.

Image via Getty Images

Tags Andres Iniesta Euro 2020 Inter Milan Italy Jorginho Koke Marco Verratti Nicolo Barella Pedri Roberto Mancini Sergio Busquets Spain Xavi