Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni has managed to top an impressive defensive statistic at EURO 2024 for Italy.

As football statistics account Opta note in a tweet, no player has won the ball back more times in the group stage of the tournament so far than Bastoni.

25-year-old Inter defender Bastoni has been at the heart of Italy’s defense so far at the Euros.

That is hardly a surprise.

For years, Bastoni has looked likely to be the player who would inherit the starting place in the Azzurri backline from Juventus legends Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

Therefore, the Inter defender has been one of the first names on the teamsheet for Italy this summer.

And it has been Bologna’s Riccardo Calafiori who has been Bastoni’s first-choice partner in defense.

Alessandro Bastoni Tops Defensive Stat At EURO 2024

Bastoni has started against all of Albania, Spain, and Croatia in Italy’s group stage matches at the Euros.

Against Albania in the first group stage match, the 25-year-old expertly marked Chelsea striker Armando Broja.

Then, Bastoni had a tough assignment in the form of Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata in the match against Spain.

Against Croatia yesterday, Bastoni marshalled Ante Budimir who led the World Cup semifinialists’ line.

And Bastoni has coped with every test well so far.

The Inter defender has shown his strength, pace, and technical ability in the challenge, and an increasing comfort in defending his own penalty area.

Bastoni has also had the freedom to step out of the defensive line to make challenges at times.

As a result, the 25-year-old has been key to Italy not just holding out defensively, but also getting the ball back and getting on the attack.

Bastoni has won the ball back a total of 21 times throughout the group stage.

That is more than any other player has done, notes Squawka.