Sunderland's Emanuele Giaccherini reflects on Euro 2016 heroics

Emanuele Giaccherini
Emanuele Giaccherini
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Emanuele Giaccherini may have struggled to make the grade at Sunderland, but the midfielder has been reflecting on his heroics for Italy at Euro 2016 last night.

Giaccherini - who spent last season on loan at Serie A outfit Bologna - netted the opening goal for Italy during their hugely impressive 2-0 win over Belgium to leave them in pole position for qualification from the group stages.

The 31-year-old struggled to adapt to the Premier League at the Stadium of Light, albeit he wasn't helped by injuries, and was allowed to leave last summer by then head coach Dick Advocaat, who felt he wasn't suited to English football.

Sunderland are expected to sanction Giaccherini's permanent exit this summer, with the Black Cats looking for a £2million fee amidst interest from Italian trio Bologna, Torino and Fiorentina.

But Giaccherini shone in the shop window last night, with the ex-Juventus man pleased to find his shooting boots after missing a couple of sitters in last month's friendly against Scotland.

"Against Scotland I had two similar runs and didn’t score, but fortunately in the game that counted the most I got it," he said.

"The first touch was what allowed me to score, as the ball stayed right there and I was able to fire it in.

"In my view this was a thoroughly deserved victory from everyone.

"At the final whistle I threw the shirt to my father in the stands, as he made so many sacrifices in life to celebrate this evening and he deserves it."”