Italian press goad 'boring' England as rivalry hots up ahead of Euro 2020 final

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson of England celebrate after victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on July 07, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson celebrate as England beat Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final. (Getty)

With three days to go before the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, the Italian press have already started the psychological battle against England following their victory against Denmark.

Harry Kane’s extra-time winner at Wembley secured a 2-1 victory over Denmark for Gareth Southgate’s team, sending the Three Lions into their first major final since 1966.

But Italian newspapers suggested it was the referee that helped England, while insinuating the team were boring and “frightened” by Denmark.

The front page of Corriere dello Sport headlined with ‘Zuppa Inglese’ – an Italian dessert derived from trifle that is thought of as boring.

The front page of Corriere dello Sport insinuated that England were boring in their match against Denmark.
The front page of Corriere dello Sport insinuated that England were boring in their match against Denmark.

Below the headline they wrote: “Southgate needs the help of the referee to reach the final against Italy.”

Later in their article, the paper said the turning point for England was [referee] “Makkelie’s whistle” that allowed the initial penalty that saw Harry Kane eventually score the decider.

La Gazzetto dello Sport said Italy should 'take the crown' in the upcoming final.
La Gazzetto dello Sport said Italy should 'take the crown' in the upcoming final.

Another newspaper, La Gazzetto dello Sport, also agreed that the penalty decision was “soft” and “doubts remain” over whether Denmark should have been penalised.

They also said that Denmark “frightened” England and urged the Italian side to “take the crown”.

Watch: This is how England fans in London celebrated when the Three Lions scored...

And beIN Sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri mocked Raheem Sterling’s fall in the penalty box and, referencing the Three Lions song, tweeted: “It's diving home."

It wasn’t just the Italians who put a negative spin on England’s win – nations closer to home also attempted to dampen spirits.

The front page of the Scottish Metro headlined with “England dive into final” – but other Scottish papers were kinder to the English.

The Herald said the win was a case of expectation meeting reality at last, and that England “had to show guts and resilience to get there".

While they said that there was little in the penalty call, the paper nevertheless said England “deserved their shot at history this Sunday”.

However, the result did not make the front page of most other Scottish papers, with a single line at the bottom of the front page of the Scottish Daily Mail telling readers that details about the game can be read on page seven.

On Twitter, goodwill for England was not universal, with ‘cheating’ being a trending topic after controversy over that Sterling fall that prompted the penalty.

The Scottish Metro said that victory for England was down to a 'dodgy penalty'.
The Scottish Metro said that victory for England was down to a 'dodgy penalty'.

There was pride in defeat in the losing nation’s papers, with the Danish press paying respect to the team’s efforts in the tournament – especially in the wake of captain Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their first game against Finland.

The paper BT ran with the headline “Brutalt! I table, men vandt vores hjerter” – “Brutal! You lost, though you won our hearts”.

Meanwhile, Jyllands-Posten looks to the future, saying: “EM-festen er slut – nu kan VM-festen begynde” – “The European Championship party is over – now the World Cup party can begin."

Watch: Ecstatic fans react to England's Euro 2020 semi-final win

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