Italian football great Alessandro Del Piero appeared to confuse one of the England players with former international Shaun Wright-Phillips during Channel 4’s live coverage of the Nations League encounter on Friday night.
Del Piero was part of the broadcaster’s punditry line-up, offering the Italian view for England’s trip to Milan.
After a drab first half, Del Piero – alongside former England internationals Joe Cole and Eniola Aluko – had little to talk about, with neither team enjoying many chances in what was a repeat contest of the Euro 2020 final 14 months previous.
However, Del Piero soon attracted criticism when he appeared to mix up one of the starting XI with former England winger Wright-Phillips, whose last of his 36 international caps came in 2010.
Attempting to explain where Italy’s chances were coming from, Del Piero said: “All the times that England try to come out, we press high very well. We’ve had a couple of counter-attacks especially when Wright-Phillips lost the ball and [we’re] anticipating in that way.”
The error, which was broadcast live at half-time on Channel 4’s coverage of the Nations League group game, was spotted by former England striker-turned football pundit Stan Collymore, who said on Twitter: “Nice to see Del Piero's punditry on Wright-Phillips’ involvement for England that half.”
Del Piero’s explanation that England had been giving the ball away on the left led viewers to question whether he had confused Raheem Sterling or Bukayo Saka for Wright-Phillips, given the former had started on the left of a three-man attack, with the latter tucked in behind him at wing-back.
Saka had earlier in the day been named England’s Player of the Year, having enjoyed an impressive run of form since missing the crucial penalty in the Euro 2020 final shootout defeat by Italy at Wembley.