Euro 2020: Italy wins European Championship, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma named player of tournament
Italy vs England: In the penalty shootout, Italy successfully edged out England 3-2 and won their second Euro Title.
Italy has won the European Championship for the first time since 1968 as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy's goalkeeper, saved two England penalties en route to a 3-2 shootout win after the teams had fought out a 1-1 extra-time draw at a raucous Wembley on July 11, 2021.
The giant keeper saved from Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho after Marcus Rashford hit a post, as Leonardo Bonucci, Federico Bernardeschi, and Domenico Berardi all scored for the Italian team.
England was given a dream start from Luke Shaw with a superb goal after two minutes of the game, but Italy, who offered almost nothing in response in the first half of the game, eventually took command of the game as hosts sat back and leveled through Bonucci after 67 minutes.
The final of Euro 2020 was the first final to be decided on penalties since Czechoslovakia had beaten Germany in 1976. The win will be wildly celebrated in Italy after they had lost the finals in 2000 and 2012.
They made most of the running in half time and the extra time and England can have few complaints after their early promises have faded away.
Nevertheless, it was heartbreaking for most of the 67,000 spectators as the England team came up short in their first major final since they had won the World Cup 55 years ago.
In the 2018 World Cup semi-final against Croatia, England had taken an early lead before eventually being outplayed and beaten in extra time. This time, the team, however, did not look like giving up the initiative on home soil, though failing to threaten Donnarumma.
How Italy won its second Euro Title?
After Luke Shaw gave England a 1-0 lead, no more goals were scored in the first half, and as a result, England entered half-time with a lead. The team was just 45 minutes away from being crowned as the European Champions.
However, in the second half, Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci got the equalizer for the team as he netted the ball into the goalpost in the 67th minute, bringing scores to 1-1. With this, Bonucci also became the oldest goal-scorer in the history of the Euro finals.
No more goals were scored further in the match, and the game had to progress to extra time. The extra time was also not able to separate the two teams, and hence the game had to progress to the much-dreaded penalty shootout.
In the penalty shootout, Italy successfully edged out England 3-2 and as a result, the team won their second Euro Title.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma becomes player of tournament:
Gianluigi Donnarumma, the Italy goalkeeper, had clinched the player of the tournament award. Donnarumma, 22, had 33 caps to his name already and crowned his tournament in style on July 11, helping Azzurri to their second title with two penalty saves in the shoot-out triumph over England.
Gianluigi Donnarumma also played 719 minutes at the tournament, more than any other player.
🚫 3 clean sheets, 9 saves— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 11, 2021
😮 Semi-finals penalty shoot-out hero
😱 Final penalty shoot-out hero
UEFA's team of Technical Observers have named Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as their Player of the Tournament 🇮🇹👏#EURO2020 | #ITA pic.twitter.com/HWGnaHLGkK
UEFA European Football Championship:
The UEFA European Football Championship 2020 or UEFA Euro 2020, was the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe. It is organized by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA).
The tournament was earlier scheduled from June 12 to July 12, 2020, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was again rescheduled to be held from June 11 to July 11, 2021.
Italy won the final of Euro 2020 on penalties against England after a 1-1 draw after extra time.