Italy v England Euro 2020 final: Millions to cheer Three Lions as they seek historic win

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
9 Min Read

Date: Sunday, 11 July. Kick-off: 20:00 BST. Venue: Wembley Stadium. Coverage: Live on BBC One and iPlayer from 18:20. Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. Live text commentary, goal clips, report and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

England will look to make history and win a first major men’s tournament in 55 years when they face Italy in the final of Euro 2020 at a raucous Wembley on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate’s men will become the first England team to win a European Championship if they beat the Azzurri in front of around 60,000 fans at the national stadium (20:00 BST kick-off).

Excitement is growing as the country prepares for the showdown, with tens of millions expected to cheer the team on from homes and pubs as England look to win a showpiece final for the first time since the 1966 World Cup.

“It’s important we have that connection with the fans and we’ve definitely had that,” England captain Harry Kane told BBC Sport.

“We know they’ll be there cheering us on around the country and we just cannot wait to try to win the game for them.”

How to watch the final on the BBC

Build-up to England’s biggest game for decades begins on BBC One at 18:20 BST.

Former England striker Gary Lineker will be joined at Wembley by ex-Three Lions captain Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard.

Gabby Logan will be pitchside, and alongside her will be former England women’s defender Alex Scott and Germany’s World Cup and European Championship winner Jurgen Klinsmann.

The whole match is live on BBC One, while you can listen to full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The BBC Sport website will have build-up to the final throughout Sunday followed by live text commentary, goal clips, highlights, report and reaction.

Excitement and expectation

Everything that can be decked out in an England flag has been – including Number 10 Downing Street.

The Queen has sent her “good wishes” to the team, while Kane revealed Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise had called the squad.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “We actually had Tom Cruise get in touch yesterday evening. You get everyone who loves football.”

Pubs will be allowed to stay open an extra 45 minutes in case of extra time and penalties, while thousands of schoolchildren will be allowed to arrive later on Monday so they can watch the final.

Supermarkets have reported sharp increases in sales of alcohol and pizzas throughout Euro 2020.

A number of wall murals have been painted in tribute to Southgate’s team, including one of the England boss, Kane and forward Raheem Sterling in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

What’s happening with tickets?

With capacity reduced to 60,000 because of social distancing rules, there is a high demand for tickets.

One England fan, Ray Flowers, told the BBC he had been offered £8,000 for his four tickets. “I said ‘not a chance’,” he added.

“To enter the stadium, you will need proof of a negative lateral flow test or proof of full vaccination or proof of natural immunity,” said a Uefa statement.

Italy are expected to have several thousand UK-based supporters at the game, while a maximum of 1,000 fans have been given special permission to fly from Italy for the final.

Under the agreement, fans will be allowed to stay in Britain for a maximum of 12 hours and will have to use charter flights departing on Sunday from Milan and Rome.

They will use internal transport organised by the Italian Football Federation to get to Wembley.

Who will be at at the showpiece?

A lifelong England fan who was at the 1966 final will be part of the crowd at Wembley.

Roger Homer, 74 and from Halesowen in the West Midlands, was 19 when he witnessed England’s World Cup triumph and has followed them home and away ever since.

“I’ve never known an atmosphere like the last two matches,” he said. “I wonder whether it’s the release of emotion after the last 18 months.”

Sam Astley, from Sedgley in the West Midlands, missed England’s semi-final win over Denmark so he could donate stem cells. Euro 2020 sponsor Vivo have stepped in to provide him with tickets for the final after hearing his story.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, has been at several England matches at Wembley during the tournament, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also at the national stadium for the Denmark victory.

David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, who sang the unofficial England anthem Three Lions, with its familiar refrain “Football’s Coming Home”, are expected to be at the final too.

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella will also be attending.

Wembley ready for end game

There have been 11 host cities for Euro 2020, with the tournament starting on 11 June in Rome.

Since then, Glasgow, Munich, Baku, St Petersburg, Budapest, Seville, Bucharest, Amsterdam and Copenhagen – as well as London’s Wembley Stadium – have staged matches.

Wembley was used for both semi-finals as Italy beat Spain last Tuesday before England defeated Denmark 24 hours later.

The old Wembley, which was demolished in 2002, hosted the Euro 96 final and, 30 years before that, was the scene for England’s World Cup triumph.

Team news and selection dilemmas

England trained at St George’s Park in Staffordshire on Saturday before heading for their overnight base in Hertfordshire.

One absentee was midfielder Phil Foden, who suffered a minor knock in training on Friday.

The Manchester City player started England’s first two group games and came on as a substitute in the semi-final.

Kane is one goal away from setting a new England record of 11 at major tournaments.

Italy transformed under Mancini

Italy went into Euro 2020 with the best form of any nation and they have extended their national record further with the semi-final victory over Spain their 33rd match unbeaten – a run stretching back to September 2018.

Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has transformed the Azzurri since taking charge following the disappointment of their failure to reach the 2018 World Cup.

The team includes goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who already has 32 caps at the age of 22 and has made some crucial saves in this tournament.

The experienced centre-back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, who have a combined age of 70, have set the tone in terms of organisation. The presence of Chelsea’s Champions League-winning midfielder Jorginho has also allowed more creative players around him to be effective going forward.

Four-time world champions Italy are seeking a second European title – and first since 1968.

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