Italy are the European champions, beating England on penalty kicks, 3-2, to win Euro 2020. In doing so, they won their first European Championship since 1968.
Euro 2020 was filled with two things: Own goals (11) and penalty shootouts (four). While “Owen Goal” didn’t rear his head (or foot) in the Final, the penalty shootout did.
England scored first, with Manchester United’s Luke Shaw sending his entire country into a frenzy with a beautiful goal in the second minute. But England failed to get a security goal, and Italy made them pay for it later.
In the 67th minute, Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci equalized for Azzurri, but neither team could break through for a second goal. After 120 minutes, the game went to penalties, where Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made two saves to secure the win.
Needless to say, the soccer world was in a near-frenzy during and after the game:
ITALY DEFEAT ENGLAND ON PENALTIES AT WEMBLEY AND ARE YOUR EURO 2020 CHAMPIONS 🏆🇮🇹
CALCIO’S COMING HOME pic.twitter.com/HGDYUqEsYT
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) July 11, 2021
It’s coming h̶o̶m̶e̶ Rome 🇮🇹🏆
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2021
VIENE A CASA
VIENE A CASA
— Matteo Bonetti (@Bonetti) July 11, 2021
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 11, 2021
— ii𝗦𝗞ii 🌟🌟 (@ShauryaCFC) July 11, 2021
Italy entered Euro 2020 as the No. 7 team in the world and made quick, easy work of Group A. They finished top of the group with wins over Turkey, Switzerland and Wales, shutting all three out in the process.
In the knockout round, they beat Austria 2-1 in extra time, then stunned No. 1-ranked Belgium 2-1 before a huge game against Spain. A 1-1 draw preceded Italy beating Spain 4-2 on penalties.
Then came the Euro Final.
Thus ends one of the most incredible Euro tournaments in its storied history. There were scares, heartbreaks, upsets, golazos, an insane number of own goals and everything in-between.
The 2022 World Cup is only one year away. After missing the World Cup in 2018, Italy now have more momentum than almost any team in the world heading into Qatar.
Up next: World Cup qualifying matches.