‘Tears for heroes’: England’s media reacts to Euro final loss


'Tears for heroes': England's media reacts to Euro final loss
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Final - Italy v England - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 11, 2021 England's Harry Kane and wife Katie Goodland look dejected after the match Pool via REUTERS/Carl Recine

In Summary

  • England's hopes of winning a first major trophy in 55 years ended in heartbreak with their shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final and the anguish was plastered across the pages of Monday's newspapers, with the Independent's "Tears for heroes" headline summing up the sentiment.
  • Italy won their first European Championship since 1968 after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka failed to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma in the shootout.
  • While there was disappointment over England's defeat, there was also praise for Southgate -- once the face of English failure for his own penalty miss at Euro 96 -- and his team.

England’s hopes of winning a first major trophy in 55 years ended in heartbreak with their shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final and the anguish was plastered across the pages of Monday’s newspapers, with the Independent’s “Tears for heroes” headline summing up the sentiment.

Italy won their first European Championship since 1968 after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka failed to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma in the shootout.

“It all ends in tears,” read the front page of the Daily Mail, while the Daily Telegraph led with “The ultimate agony … penalties heartbreak again” alongside a photo of coach Gareth Southgate consoling Saka, who missed the fifth spot kick.

“England were bringing it, as the song says, home,” wrote Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail. “Home to a euphoric Wembley.

“That dream, sadly, was not to be. For while the denouement was painful, what preceded was just a plain old game of football.”

While there was disappointment over England’s defeat, there was also praise for Southgate — once the face of English failure for his own penalty miss at Euro 96 — and his team.

“There will be pain in defeat,” wrote Barney Ronay in the Guardian. “Down the years moments such as these have been met with a reflex splurge of blame, hurt, recrimination, tears, hurled plastic chairs.

“But this was something else. For the last four weeks, and beyond that back to the sun-drenched pantomime of Russia 2018, Southgate’s fine, likeable young team has been a tonic, his clarity, decency and willingness to speak across football an uplifting thing at a time of dissonance and weak leadership elsewhere.”

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