ITALY manager Roberto Mancini and captain Giorgio Chiellini have praised The National's Saturday front page ahead of their Euro 2020 final with England.

We mocked up the Azzuri boss as William Wallace in Braveheart – willing his side on as our final hope to prevent another 55 years of the kind of coverage in the English media that had attracted widespread criticism during the tournament.

READ MORE: ITV commentator Sam Matterface 'loses the plot' during England v Denmark

The front page sparked a huge reaction in Scotland, the rest of the UK and on the continent.

While European media outlets saw it as tongue-in-cheek, debate here raged on whether it was bitterness or banter.

Asked at a pre-match press conference about our front page, Mancini said: "The front page of the newspaper is nice.

"We'll have to play our game. We'll have to have a great match, this must be our only thought. It's a football match after all."

The National:

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Chiellini was a fan of our work too, as reported by Italian news site TUTTOmercatoWEB.

He said: "The front page of the National made me smile for Scotland's rivalry with England.

"Tomorrow we'll need a hot heart to survive, but also a cool head.

The National:

"We will have to dare, we'll have to be lucid to have the situation under control. It's unthinkable to have control for 90 minutes, you'll need these characteristics to the maximum. To win the final you'll need to take care of every detail."

The National's front page was a huge hit in Italy, with the nation’s largest sports paper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, pinning the image of Mancini as Braveheart to the top of their live Euros blog.

READ MORE: How Italy reacted to The National's Euro 2020-Braveheart front page

The National:

Vanity Fair in Italy wrote: “The final of the Euros, of course, is just further evidence of a battle that Scotland has waged for centuries to try to disengage from English authority and live independently: a need already seen during Brexit and which continues today, extending to all forms.”

The Corriere dello Sport reports: “The subtitle of the image is even more hilarious and explains why in Scotland they will be cheering for our national team in the final against the English: ‘We can’t take another 55 years of them boasting’.”