No one can have missed that Italy beat England on penalties last night. After three hours of 2×90, 2×15 and penalties the Italians were crowned Champions of Europe.
It was an intense game that most likely will be remembered for two things. The red card that was never called nor by the ref nor by VAR. And Saka, the 19-year-old London kid who missed the last penalty seeing Italy becoming champions at Wembley stadium where he grew up just 15 minutes away.
The English have been waiting for success since winning the World Cup in 1966. The fans singing «Football is coming home» has become a tradition that now seems more like a burdon and a curse. But at least football did come home, 6 out of 7 games this tournament, but in some way it felt like fate.
Italy opened the European Cup by beating Turkey at home in Rome (interesting fact is that Rome was the only place England played at outside of Wembley). Going to London to fight against the dragon (George and the dragon) felt like the ultimate ending to an epic tournament which provided a level of national team football which we haven’t really experienced in the last maybe 15 to 20 years.
The pandemic has made its mark, the fans were back in the stadiums, and it felt like suddenly this wasn’t just a tournament, it was a statement that we will not surrender.
Football did come home, the English fans got to feel it up until the last kick of the game. But as most Northern Europeans do, they head south in vacation. Football came home, but then it wen ton vacation, for the next three years, to Rome.
Congratulations to Italy for becoming Champions of Europe!