Written by Keir Barradell
Is it too optimistic to start thinking about a new song for when football comes home?
If you were anywhere in England on the 7th July, we can guarantee you heard this chanting from somewhere. In your local boozer, outside McDonald’s or on the television screen, England were in full voice supporting their team as they reached their first major final since 1966!
Gareth Southgate’s men had to overcome adversity to secure victory; after going a goal down to a stunning strike from Denmark’s Mikkel Damsgaard, England clawed there way back into the game after a brilliant move from Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka. It wasn’t until the 104th minute that we managed to secure the victory through our talismanic striker. England never like to make it easy for us!
Emotions were high at Wembley, with players and fans alike in sheer ecstasy. None more so than Gareth Southgate, who took to the centre circle and jubilantly punched his fists in the air. “I’ve always had that sort of relationship with the fans at the clubs I was at. I suppose it was everybody’s emotion,” he said.
“I knew how much that would mean to everybody to be able to be here tonight. The crowd were incredible in giving us that energy throughout the game and, yes, it was a special moment for all of us. So I’m not embarrassed about losing my head a little bit in that moment.”
The first slot in the Euro 2020 final was secured by Italy, who overcame Spain on penalties to clinch victory. The Italians have been in fine form this summer, combining defensive resilience with slick and clinical attacking play. After failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018, Italy have gone a remarkable 33 games unbeaten and established themselves as favourites for the competition. Italy winger Federico Bernardsechi notes the impact of their manager Roberto Mancini;
“There was only a madman three years ago to say we could get to this point and it’s Mr Mancini. He’s always believed in us, he has always brought enthusiasm to everyone”.
The countdown to the final is ticking fast, and if you listen very closely, I guarantee somewhere you can hear a passionate rendition of ‘Three Lions on the Shirt’. This is a friendly reminder to book a table at your favourite boozer, get yourself to a sports shop to get a shirt, and cross fingers, toes, and anything else for the boys to bring it home this weekend!