“It’s coming to Rome”: Italy crowned as Champions in Euro2020 Final
Italy secures its first win since 1968 in the Euro 2020 Final after an intense shootout at Wembley Stadium
“It’s coming to Rome”. Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci screams this phrase into the camera, overwhelmed by elation after he scored the match’s equalising goal.
He valiantly helped his nation to their second European Championship in the second half.
It was a generally poor shoot-out, with the Azzurri missing two and England missing their last three shots.
Italy comes back after falling behind in the final two minutes
Italy winning the Euro 2020 final comes as a welcome surprise to fans, who were left on the edge of their seat after their team fell behind in the first two minutes of the game.
The Azzurri were seemingly scrambling to restore their defensive lines, as Luke Shaw capitalised on a Giovanni De Lorenzi positioning error to steer home his driving volley from inside the 18-yard box.
But did England look like taking full advantage of this? Seemingly not.
Was it the pressure? The occasion of ‘playing’ at home in a Final may have gotten to the Three Lions. But Gareth Southgate’s men turned timid.
Did they go out and attack, trying to extend the lead? Or did Italy crank the pressure up, trying to impose a possession-based style of football; similar to the one it experienced against Luis Enrique’s Spain only days before in the Euro 2020 semi-final?
English fan celebrations may have begun a tad early when the half-time whistle was blown
Giorgio Chellini and Bonucci – arguably the hero, along with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma – showed why they are regarded as one of the best centre-back pairings in world football. It was the masterstroke of the two, to come up with the idea to allow the latter to join the midfield fray, meaning the Azzurri would free Jorginho and Marco Verratti to pull the midfield strings.
And once this occurred, the English started to fall.
As La Nazionale pushed forward time and time again, it became evident that the trophy was more heading towards Rome, and not down the aisles of the Stadium it currently resided in.
Souuthgate’s attempt to steer control back with the introduction of Jordan Henderson, almost worked, as his partnership with the midfield seemingly gave England a fleeting chance. And Jack Grealish’s menacing presence gave Three Lions’ supporters the hope they desperately craved.
But the dreaded Beast awoke – every footballing fan and player’s nightmare – the spot-kick.
With confidence, each player strode to the 12-yard disc, but a combination of nerves, misguided spot-kicks and Donnarumma guessing the right way on the final three occasions, saw Italy add a second European Championship to their cabinet, elimination the haunting moments of both the Euro 2000 and 2008 Finals.
The heartache of failing to qualify for a World Cup tournament – the first time in 58 years – saw Mancini brought into the Azzurri fold, replacing then-tactician Giampiero Ventura. And what a whirlwind journey it has been.
From their lowest-ever ranking, to the highs of their infamous night at Wembley, the former Manchester City and Inter boss has led his nation to an 34-match undefeated streak – something unimaginable only a year ago.
England misses out on winning first European Championship since 1968
In the first half, England’s Luke Shaw secured the match’s first goal in the first two minutes.
Rafa Nadal pulls out of French Open
The Spaniard has failed to regain full fitness from a hip injury sustained earlier this year
Rafa Nadal has delivered news that no tennis fan wanted to hear.
The King of Clay will miss the French Open after failing to regain full fitness from a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open back in January.
The 14-time Roland Garros winner says he expects to retire following the 2024 season.
Nadal has dominated the clay court season for close to two decades.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion fronted a widely anticipated press conference at his tennis academy in Mallorca to drop the bombshell, saying its the right thing to do for his body and personal happiness.
“I’ll look to be 100% ready for next year, which I believe will be the last year of my professional career,” Nadal told a news conference at his tennis academy in Mallorca, Spain.
“The evolution of the injury I sustained in Australia has not gone as I would have liked. I have lost goals along the way, and Roland Garros becomes impossible.”
“I’ll not establish a date for my return. I’ll see how my body responds and take it from there,” said the 36-year-old. “If I keep playing at this moment, I don’t think I can be there next year.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to come back in the highest level and compete for Grand Slams. What I will try to do is to give myself the opportunity to go back to what could be my final year competing at the highest level.”
China expresses concerns about ‘politicisation of sports’
The East Asian nation raised the issue when Premier Li met with the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach
China has expressed concerns to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the politicisation of sporting events.
The issue was raised when Chinese Premier Li Qiang met Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, in Beijing over the weekend.
“China’s efforts to promote the Olympic spirit will never cease, and [China is] ready to work with IOC to oppose the politicisation of sports, and make further contributions to the Olympic movement,” Li said.
It is rare for China to raise such concerns with the IOC in public, and it was the first time it had made such comments since the Winter Olympics in Beijing early last year.
The United States and several of its allies took part in a diplomatic boycott of the Games, citing alleged human rights abuse in China’s far west region of Xinjiang.
Beijing has repeatedly denied the accusation and said it opposes any attempts to politicise sporting events.
Tasmanian AFL team becomes reality
Tasmania will have a team in the AFL after all 18 current teams agreed to the motion
An exciting day for residents of the Australian state of Tasmania today.
Outgoing AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirming Tasmania has been granted the league’s 19th licence.
It follows the nation’s federal government confirming it will cover the $240 million shortfall to fund a new multi-purpose stadium at Macquarie Point.
This has long been viewed as Tasmania’s most significant hurdle for entry into the league.
All 18 clubs supported the state’s bid, before the AFL Commission agreed to a formal ratification.
McLachlan fronted a press conference at North Hobart Oval, alongside Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles and a whole host of players.
The CEO says the decision “will finally make [the] competitions truly national”. #trending #featured
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