ROME, Jul 11 (Reuters) – Italians flocked to the streets and squares in large numbers on Sunday as the national soccer team beat England to win Euro 2020, celebrating a success widely seen as a respite from the heartache of not qualifying for the final World is viewed mug.
Fireworks and music erupted after the 3-2 shootout win after a 1-1 draw after extra time across the country, as flags waved and euphoric fans sang on the hot summer night after the final at London’s Wembley Stadium. Continue reading
“It’s incredible, it’s incredible, you can’t feel better, it’s incredible, we won the final,” said Stefano Gucci, a fan of the crowd in Rome’s Piazza Del Popolo.
The Italians praised national coach Roberto Mancini for leading the country out of deep disappointment when it failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and for leading it to its first European title since 1968.
“Big thanks to Roberto Mancini and our players who represented Italy well and did the sport credit,” said Republican President Sergio Mattarella in a statement.
Joy broke out in cities from north to south of the country after Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s last save from Bukayo Saka. Fans filled the central Milan Cathedral square and cars honked in Naples.
The fans also gathered in Jesi, the central Italian hometown of coach Mancini, to celebrate.
“It’s very important for Italy and especially for us,” a fan in Jesi with a huge Italian flag told SkyTg24.
It is the first major international success of Italian football since winning the 2006 World Cup. Since then, the “Azzurri” have suffered repeated failures, including a devastating defeat against Spain in the Euro 2012 final.
“You gave us a magical night,” said the head of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago.
Italy, where people have suffered from the coronavirus crisis and the deep economic recession provoked by the curbs, has welcomed success with hope and relief.
“It’s like living in a dream that you don’t want to wake up from. Italy has awakened from the pandemic nightmare,” said Fan Gianluca Iannilli, 25, who is studying interpreting in Rome.
Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer and Gabriele Pileri; Editing by Ken Ferris
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