Ever-hopeful England fans have already started looking forward to next year’s World Cup after the team suffered an agonising loss against Italy in tonight’s Euro 2020 final.
The team lost to Italy on penalties, extending the Three Lions’ 55 years of hurt with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missing from 12 yards like manager Gareth Southgate in 1996, breaking fans’ hearts.
Despite the heroic efforts of Jordan Pickford, England missed three consecutive penalties crowning Italy champions in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley.
But the spirit of the English hasn’t been dampened, with keen supporters taking to Twitter to predict a World Cup win in Qatar next year.
One fan wrote: ‘Anyway, England should be proud. We’re bringing the World Cup home next year.’
And another said: ‘On to the World Cup… It’s coming home.’ And another said: ‘So unbelievably gutted but also so unbelievably proud of that squad after the year we’ve had.
‘Gave us something to smile about. Onwards and upwards for the World Cup next Christmas! It’s coming home.’
And another wrote: ‘Absolutely heartbreaking yes, but a lot of positives to take overall still, just wasn’t to be tonight. Keep building and onto the World Cup next year.’
While another user said: ‘World Cup next year I think… IT’S COMING HOME.’ And another wrote: ‘Honestly all we can do is be more hyped for the World Cup.’
Jadon Sancho puts his head in his hands after he failed to score in the penalty shoot out in tonight’s Euro 2020 final
Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians
The spirit of the English hasn’t been dampened, with keen supporters taking to Twitter to predict a World Cup win in Qatar next year
Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996
Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post
Despite two saves by Jordan Pickford, England missed three consecutive penalties crowning Italy champions in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley.
Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his penalty as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996.
In a bitter irony it was the substituted penalty specialists Rashford and Sancho who failed to score before Saka.
But after Luke Shaw’s stunning early goal – the fastest ever in a European final – England’s nerves were shot to pieces after a second half in which the Italians ran them ragged.
They were dealt a hammer blow on the 67th minute as Leonardo Bonucci equalised with a scrappy goal, leaving the Three Lions hanging on to extra time.
Luke Shaw netted a stunning goal on the break to settle early nerves in front of 60,000 fans as the Three Lions look to secure their first major trophy in 55 years
England fans bellow ‘It’s coming home’ in the stands as the players get ready for the match against Italy
England fans hold up a St George’s Cross outside Wembley stadium as thousands gathered outside the west London arena, many of them without tickets
A young England fan with his face painted with the cross of St George sits on a man’s shoulders ahead of the match
Prince William is joined by Kate and George at the final today
A frantic two periods of extra time followed, with both sides capable of seizing victory, before the final whistle and the dreaded spot kicks.
An estimated 35 million are watching the match on TV, while more than £3 billion is being lavished on bets, drinks and food.
The force said it will be deploying ‘a great many officers and specialist units to prevent crime and disorder and respond to any incidents right across London’.
It comes as expectations reach fever pitch, one fan in central London said even a loss is ‘something to drink to’ in its historic match against Italy in the Euro final.
The British Beer & Pub Association predicts England fans will buy 7.1 million pints as they watch England’s first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup.
By the end of the competition it is estimated that £815million will have been spent in pubs and hospitality venues, with 32.6 million pints sold, according to a report by Vouchercodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.
England and Italy line up ahead of the match today to sing their national anthems
Ahead of the match, The Queen, Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent the team best wishes, while thousands of England supporters urge the side to ‘bring it home’ – with some fans partying last night while others admitted they didn’t sleep because they were so excited.
In a video message on the official England football Twitter account, Southgate – who has been praised for his leadership of the team – said the fans’ support has given them a ‘huge lift’.
He said: ‘We hope that you’ve enjoyed watching us play. I’m very grateful to all of the players and the incredible staff I’ve got with me, that we’ve been able to get to our first final for 55 years. But of course we know now we’ve got to deliver for you, so we’ll be doing everything we can.
The Duke of Cambridge praised manager Southgate, captain Harry Kane and ‘every member of the England team on and off the pitch’ in a video message on his official Twitter account, as he said: ‘I can’t really believe this is happening’ and wished the squad ‘the very best of luck’.
William, the President of the FA, said: ‘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 tonight. What a team performance it’s been, everyone in the squad has played their part. All the backroom team as well have been truly essentially.
‘I can’t really believe this is happening. So exciting and I 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.’