‘We turned Three Lions into cubs’: Gloating Italian press say ‘silent Wembley’ was made to ‘kneel before Italy’ and Southgate was ‘lucky’ to reach the final as they hail their victory
- Italian media has hailed their side’s victory over England at last night’s Euro final
- Papers boasted about ‘turning the Three Lions into cubs’ and said a ‘silent Wembley’ was made to ‘kneel before Italy’ as side triumphed on penalties
- Southgate was dubbed a ‘lucky general’ who only made it to the final because the competition was ‘built’ to favour England
- Spanish, French and Portuguese media also hailed the ‘new emperors’ of Europe
Italian newspapers have hailed their side’s victory at last night’s Euro final against England – gloating that a ‘silent Wembley’ was made to ‘kneel before Italy‘.
‘The Three Lions were tamed, we turned them into cubs,’ gloated the lead article of Gazetta dello Sport.
The same newspaper also laid into Gareth Southgate, dubbing him a ‘lucky general’ who only made it to the final because the tournament was ‘built’ to favour England.
Recalling Geoff Hurst’s ‘ghost goal’ that helped win the 1966 World Cup, the paper said England had ‘few technical merits’ and were justly beaten by the better team.
And it was not just the Italian media revelling in England’s defeat – back pages in Spain, France and Portugal also hailed the ‘new emperors’ of Europe in Italy.
‘Italy assaults the temple of English football and snatches the Euros’, read the headline in Spanish newspaper Marca.
French newspaper L’Equipe branded Italy ‘the invincibles’ while another Spanish paper, AS, said simply ‘bravissima!’
England had been dreaming of their first ever Euro victory at Wembley on Sunday night as Southgate’s men – semi finalists at the last World Cup – lined up against an Italian side that had failed to even qualify for that tournament.
And for 65 minutes, it seemed the dream was becoming a reality – Luke Shaw slotting home with England’s first attack of the game before the team dug deep and tried to hold the lead.
It was Leonardo Bonucci who brought England back down to earth – jumping on a shot from Marco Verratti that Jordan Pickford had managed to tip on to the post to make it 1-1 on 67 minutes.
Full time came and went along with two halves of extra time with neither side able to score the killing blow, though both had opportunities to do so.
That brought the game down to penalties – England’s old nemesis.
Southgate’s side has become known for defying history, having beat Colombia in a shootout at the last World Cup and overcome rivals Germany to reach this final.
But it was not to be. Despite heroics from Pickford to deny Belotti and Jorginho, England failed three times from the spot – with substitutes Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka either missing the target or seeing their shots saved.
Italy extended their winning streak against the English, having never lost a knockout game to the Lions, to claim the title and spark wild celebrations.
‘It’s ours!’ proclaimed the front page of Corriere della Sport. ‘Too good!’ read Gazetta dello Sport.
Mocking England’s chant of ‘it’s coming home,’ newspaper Repubblica ran the English-language headline ‘it’s coming Rome’.
Reflecting on the turnaround that Roberto Mancini has overseen – from World Cup dropouts four years ago to European champions – Corriere wrote that ‘not even the wildest of optimists would have imagined an epilogue like this.’
The paper continued: ‘Those tears of desperation have turned into joy…
‘The last match, with the giants of England, in the Queen’s house and inside a hostile stadium, was a wonderful suffering.
‘Italy wins because it has more heart and more soul and a temper of steel.’
Gazetta also had a similar reflection: ‘Every Italian in these two hours has returned to feel like a giant.
‘Years of disappointments have been canceled, the shame of the failure to qualify for the Russian World Cup forgotten.’
Il Messaggero dubbed the match ‘the longest night’, but said Italy ‘deserved’ to claim the title having ‘silenced’ fans who booed their national anthem.
‘Italy are European champions,’ the paper wrote, while ‘England’s drought continues’.