Italians flocked to the streets and squares in droves on Sunday to see their national soccer team beat England to win Euro 2020, a triumph largely regarded as a comeback from the anguish of failing to qualify for the last World Cup.
Flags waved and ecstatic fans sang out in the hot summer night after the 3-2 shootout win following a 1-1 draw after extra time in the final played at London’s Wembley stadium.
“It’s incredible, it’s incredible, you can’t feel better than this, it is amazing, we won the final,” said Stefano Gucci, a fan in the crowds at Piazza Del Popolo in Rome.
Italians praised national team coach Roberto Mancini for bringing the country out of the abyss after they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and for leading them to their first European title since 1968.
In a statement, President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella expressed his gratitude to Roberto Mancini and our players, saying, “Great gratitude to Roberto Mancini and our players who have represented Italy well and brought dignity to sports.”
After Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s final save from Bukayo Saka, joy erupted in towns from the north to the south of the country. Fans swarmed the central Milan Duomo area, as motorists in Naples honked their horns.
Supporters gathered to celebrate also in Jesi, the central Italian hometown of coach Mancini.
“It is very important for Italy, and especially for us,” a fan in Jesi holding a giant Italian flag told SkyTg24.
It marks Italy’s first big international triumph since winning the World Cup in 2006. Since then, the ‘Azzurri’ have had a string of setbacks, including a humiliating loss to Spain in the Euro 2012 final.
“You have given us a magnificent night,” remarked Giovanni Malago, president of the Italian Olympic Committee.
The success has brought hope and relief to the people of Italy, who have suffered greatly as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and the terrible economic hardship brought on by the constraints.
“It’s as if you’re in a dream that you don’t want to end. Italy has awoken from the pandemic’s nightmare “Gianluca Iannilli, a 25-year-old devotee who is training to be an interpreter in Rome, agreed.