Massive celebrations were triggered in Italy Sunday as it beat England in a penalty shootout to secure their second Euro Cup title, breaking the hearts of millions of English fans who had been eagerly cheering their team on ever since the tournament kicked off.
For Italy, this is their second European title after 1968 and first major title since the 2006 World Cup win. This was their second final in the last three Euro editions. The high-octane clash between the two teams started with England taking the lead in the second minute of the game. However, the initial intensity in the English side dropped and they were not able to create many chances. In the second half, the Italians took control of the game and started threatening England’s goalpost. The breakthrough for Italy came in the 67th minute after defender Leonardo Bonucci scored from close range.
Italy’s unbeaten run continues under manager Roberto Mancini. They have been undefeated for 34 matches which go back to September 2018. Since Mancini took over, he has turned the team around after their low point of missing the bus for the 2018 World Cup. The Italians are a complete team now with efficiency their key feature. With the next World Cup to take place in 2022, the Italians will hope to continue their form.
For England, this is a major disappointment. They have never been this close to a title since the 1966 World Cup. In the history of the tournament, only thrice the home country has been able to win the tournament. In the Euro Cup 2016, the host France too lost the final against Portugal.
Many would argue that the team became overconfident. However, it’s undeniable that the team is on the rise. They reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 2018, the final of Euro this year, and there is another World Cup next year. The team did not perform up to its standard in the final but the team is filled with young and exciting talents, many of whom have already shined at the club stage.
This year may not be England’s but they should learn from this defeat and start aiming to dream for next year’s World Cup