A historic Eurocup ends for England as for the first time in their history they qualified for the final and played it in front of their audience, at Wembley. The English made an almost perfect tournament, winning the matches without the rivals being able to beat their goal, but they missed taking the cup. In the round of 16 they already had to face the almighty Germany, and they showed that their candidacy was totally serious, beating the Germans 2-0.
In the other rounds, England had a little more luck in the confrontations, since they faced weaker rivals such as Ukraine in the quarterfinals and Denmark in the semifinals. But the truth is that Denmark had planted themselves in the semis on their own merits and it really made it very difficult for Southgate. The match was decided by a controversial penalty in extra time, despite the fact that the English had been better and were classified as the favorite in the final at Webley.
They showed this card of favorites very quickly in the final against Italy, as they went ahead in minute 1 of the game. But perhaps it hurt them to score so soon, because they gave up control of the ball and in a set piece with 20 minutes to go, the Italians tied.
Already in extra time they managed to equalize forces and had chances to win the game, but in the end everything was decided in the penalty shoot-out. There Donnarumma, goalkeeper who had already been the hero of Italy in the semifinals, returned to stop two penalties and left England without their long-awaited Euro Cup.
At least, this European Championship has served to confirm a block that had already been growing since the 2018 World Cup, where the semifinals were reached. The tournament should help to learn and correct some mistakes for the next World Cup in 2022, in which England will be one of the candidates. The team must keep Kane’s ability to lead the entire English attack with his mobility and quality, Sterling’s overflow and goal, the defensive strength of Maguire, Stones and Walker and the future of Foden, Mount and Sancho. If they persevere, they will succeed.