English dream shattered, party in Italy: reactions to European Championship final
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks of a ‘heartbreaking final’ and English newspapers are writing about the ‘ultimate torment’. Meanwhile, the Italians celebrate late into the night: “There is no better feeling.”
“The British dream is shattered,” writes The Guardian. Last night England lost the European Championship final to Italy. After 90 minutes it was 1-1, no more goals were scored in extra time and the Italians were the most cold-blooded in the penalty shootout.
The British newspaper The Times reports that ‘one last fateful kick of a ball’ put an end to the English dream. Queen Elizabeth wished the footballers good luck last week and said she remembers 1966 final. Then the English won a major European tournament for the last time.
“You would say that defeat after all these years is easy to handle,” writes The Times. “Nothing could be further from the truth, because when the fans left Wembley stadium in London disappointed it was very painful.”
“This hurts,” also writes The Daily Express. “But we are so proud of you.” That message also has Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says on Twitter that the final was ‘heartbreaking’. “But the footballers played like heroes, made the country proud and deserve a lot of credit,” Johnson wrote.
Britain’s Prince William writes on Twitter that the England team has come a long way. “Unfortunately today was not our day, but keep your head up and be proud of yourself.”
‘This is fantastic’
Meanwhile, it is a big party in dozens of Italian cities. “I’m so happy!” exclaimed fans shouted to Reuters news agency reporters. “This is fantastic, we are simply European champions.”
Heartbreaking. Congratulations @Azzurri on a great victory.
@England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves — I know there’s more to come. W
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 11, 2021
Eurovision Song Contest and European Championship
Italy, which won the Eurovision Song Contest this spring, is the first country ever to win both that prize and the European Football Championship in one year.
There is a sense of pride in Italy, especially because the country won the championship with a young team. Italians praise national coach Roberto Mancini for that decision, the BBC reports. “And Italians know how to party,” writes the British correspondent in Italy.
Proud of goalkeeper and national coach
Italians are not only proud of the national coach, but also of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has been named the best player of the European Championship. The 22-year-old goalkeeper only conceded four goals during the tournament.
The Italian goalkeeper was of great value in the decisive penalty shootout both in the semi-final against Spain and in the final battle against England.
‘It was a gamble’
England coach Gareth Southgate meanwhile takes the blame for the defeat. “We win and lose as a team, but I chose the players for the penalty series,” he says. “We trained for it, but it was a gamble.”
“I am incredibly disappointed that we have not been able to make the final step to the European title,” said the England national coach. “It was my decision to let Saka take that last penalty. It hurts a lot to miss the European title in this way.”
Catch up on more stories here
Follow us on Facebook here