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'England have become more like an Italian team' - Bonucci

The Juventus and Azzurri defender lauded the Three Lions' defensive discipline, and attributes it to Fabio Capello and the influence from the peninsula in the Premier League

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci praised England’s defensive abilities, admitting that the Three Lions play more like an Italian team nowadays.

The two sides meet on Sunday in the last of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals, with the winner to face off against either Germany or Greece in the semi-finals next week.

Roy Hodgson's side have been praised for their discipline and organisation in defence, something Juventus defender Bonucci attributes to the Italian influence on English football.

“In a certain way, yes, England have become more like an Italian team,” the 25-year-old told reporters. “This is thanks to [Fabio] Capello and all the Italian managers in the Premier League.

“So now England are defending better. They can play on the counterattack. So I think we have to be really careful against this team.”

Star man Wayne Rooney scored the winner for the Three Lions against Ukraine on his return to the side after serving a two-match ban, but Bonucci knows he is not the only player the Azzurri should be wary of.
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“We have been analysing him, but England are made up of top-class players,” he added. “It is not only about [Wayne] Rooney. They are not a one-man team.

“I think we have to put in a complete team performance in order to defeat them.”

The quarter-final clash in Kiev on Sunday kicks off at 20:45CET.

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