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England v Italy in Euro 2020 final – live! Countdown to Wembley showdown begins

By July 11, 2021No Comments

  • England face Italy in the European Championship final at Wembley (kick-off 2000)
  • Gareth Southgate’s men are looking to deliver England’s first trophy since the 1966 World Cup after ending a 55-year wait to reach a major final
  • Manchester City’s Phil Foden is England’s only injury concern after missing training on Saturday
  • Opponents Italy, who failed to qualify for the last World Cup, are now unbeaten in 33 games under Roberto Mancini

1005 The Duke of Cambridge, who is also president of the Football Association, sent his best wishes to the team with a video posted on Twitter.

“Gareth, Harry and to every member of the England team on and off the pitch, just want to wish you the very best of luck for tonight,” he said.

“What a team performance it’s been, every member of the squad has played their part and all the backroom team as well have been truly essential.

“Can’t really believe this is happening, so exciting, and just wish you the very best of luck.

“You bring out the very best of England and we are all behind you, the whole country is behind you, so bring it home.”

1000: Good morning! Tonight, at 8pm, England face Italy at Wembley.

At stake is the European Championship trophy, potentially England’s first and only a second major honour since Bobby Moore and his team-mates won the World Cup in 1966.

The Queen has wished the Three Lions well, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson also penned a personal note to Gareth Southgate and his squad, who were FaceTimed by Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise on Saturday.

England’s calm and composed manager Southgate remains determined to stay focused on the job in hand while the country has allowed itself to dream of football finally coming home.

Today the PA news agency will chart the build-up to the historic clash, bringing the best opinions, pictures, video, graphics and social media together as we count down to kick-off.

Former England right-back Gary Neville, who along with Southgate experienced semi-final heartbreak as a player at Euro 96, stressed that today was “not a day to be nervous”.

Discussing how the players would be feeling on Sunday morning compared to his own experiences with the national team, Neville told Sky Sports News: “If you think about 1996 and Gareth’s abuse he received after missing that penalty, (David) Beckham in ’98 and then my brother (Phil Neville) in 2000, it was a very pressurised situation with England because you weren’t performing at a level and there was a different way in which they approached it from a media point as well.

“These lads haven’t got that cynicism, they haven’t got that pain and dismay embedded within themselves, so I suspect that now they must be feeling on top of the world this morning, excited.

England v Italy in Euro 2020 final – live! Countdown to Wembley showdown begins PLZ Soccer
Gary Neville earned 85 England caps (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“I know there are a lot of fans nervous up and down the country but this isn’t a day to be nervous. I don’t feel nervous at all. It’s a moment and a day that this country’s been waiting for such a long time. I think the pressure moment was actually against Scotland or against Germany in the second round.

“We’ve gone past those things with this team, so this team have proven they can jump hurdles that none have done before in the last 55 years, and I suspect that they’ll be feeling really comfortable.”

Former England boss Terry Venables, who led the Three Lions to the last four of the Euros 25 years ago, has written an open letter to Southgate in The Sun.

Venables said: “I will be with you in spirit on that touchline. I knew exactly how, and what you were feeling as those incredible days which brought the country together back in ’96 came flooding back to me, feelings which cannot be fully appreciated unless you are standing on that spot.

“As you know, sport teaches us so many lessons about life and the saying, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is so true.

England v Italy in Euro 2020 final – live! Countdown to Wembley showdown begins PLZ Soccer
Terry Venables has wished his former player Gareth Southgate well in tonight’s final (Michael Stephens/PA)

“Having watched all of the games, I have to say that your team are a credit to you as mine were to me, and I know that to achieve a connection like that is a luxury many managers could never accomplish.

“Enjoy every moment of your day on Sunday, knowing that our wonderful country are all behind you and your team cheering you on, willing you the success which you all deserve.”

Italy watch

Italians are confident their national side will win their second European Championship, a title they first claimed in 1968.

The front cover of today’s Gazzetta dello Sport instructs the Azzurri to ‘get it done’. The Corriere dello Sport talks of ‘a love so big’ for Roberto Mancini’s men.

Where can I watch the final?

BBC One – build-up from 1820
ITV – build-up from 1830