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Rio Ferdinand urges England’s penalty heartbreak trio to hold their heads high

By July 11, 2021No Comments

Rio Ferdinand told the England players who missed penalties in their Euro 2020 final loss to hold their heads high.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed from the spot as Italy won 3-2 on spot kicks at Wembley after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.

“I’ve seen seasoned players with hundreds of games under their belts turn away,” Ferdinand said in defence of those who missed.

Rio Ferdinand urges England’s penalty heartbreak trio to hold their heads high PLZ Soccer
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saves from Bukayo Saka (Nick Potts/PA)

Rashford and Sancho were new to the pitch when they missed, and Alan Shearer told the BBC: “It’s a big ask to put players on with a minute to go and say ‘go and take a penalty’ when they’ve had no feel of the ball. You’re put in a position.”

Ferdinand added: “That’s happened for years, the last five, four, three minutes, players go on as takers. Marcus Rashford is a recognised taker. It happens. We look down the years, the biggest and best players miss penalties. Big players of the past… Baggio… they’ve missed penalties.”

Ian Wright had words of comfort for Saka after his missed penalty sealed victory for Italy.

He said on ITV: “He is more than capable of taking that penalty. He is brave enough to take it. I am devastated for him.

“We have done brilliantly to get to where we got to but in the end we just got pipped.”

Roy Keane added: “It’s not a night be critical of England. I think Gareth and his staff have been magnificent.

Rio Ferdinand urges England’s penalty heartbreak trio to hold their heads high PLZ Soccer
England’s beaten players look on (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It’s a tough night for England but sometimes you have to lose to win. You have to take your medicine. There has been huge progress in the last few years and the World Cup is around the corner.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “Tonight’s result is a disappointment but huge congratulations to England for performances that filled the nation with pride.

“Praise must go to the players, and to Gareth Southgate and his coaching team and everybody at the FA, for a great Euro 2020 tournament. Gareth is a fantastic leader and instilled the players with belief, to go alongside their undoubted ability.

“Irrespective of tonight’s result, I am excited for the future – to see not only what this squad can go on to achieve, but also for the millions of people their success will inspire to play, support and get involved with our sport.”

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