UEFA Euro 2020 Final
Final game of the UEFA Euro 2020
- 1 Venue
- 2 Background
- 3 Route to the final
- 4 Pre-match
- 5 Match
- 6 Post-match
- 7 Broadcasting and viewership
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
|Event||UEFA Euro 2020|
|After extra time|
Italy won 3–2 on penalties
|Date||11 July 2021|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)|
|Referee||Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)|
19 °C (66 °F)
The UEFA Euro 2020 Final was a football match that took place at Wembley Stadium in London, England, on 11 July 2021 to determine the winners of UEFA Euro 2020. The match was the 16th final of the UEFA European Championship, a quadrennial tournament contested by the senior men's national teams of the member associations of UEFA to decide the champions of Europe. The match was contested by Italy and England. Though originally scheduled for 12 July 2020, the tournament was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.
Prior to the match, Italy's only European Championship victory was in 1968, though they had also reached the final in 2000 and 2012, while England were playing in their first final at the tournament. In front of a crowd of 67,173, Italy won their second European Championship after beating England 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1–1 draw at the conclusion of extra time. As a result of their defeat, England became the third nation in the 21st century to lose the European Championship final on home soil after Portugal in 2004 and France in 2016.
The final was held at Wembley Stadium in London, England, located in Wembley of the borough of Brent. On 6 December 2012, UEFA announced the tournament would be held in multiple cities across Europe to mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament, with no host teams qualifying automatically. Wembley was chosen as the semi-final and final venue of the tournament by the UEFA Executive Committee on 19 September 2014, having been selected by acclamation after the finals package bid of the Allianz Arena in Munich was withdrawn. After winning the hosting rights, London's standard package bid for group stage matches and an earlier knockout match was withdrawn. However, the UEFA Executive Committee removed Brussels as a host city on 7 December 2017 due to delays with the building of the Eurostadium. The four matches (three group stage, one round of 16) initially scheduled to be held in Brussels were reallocated to London, leaving Wembley with seven tournament matches. This was later increased to eight matches, as Dublin were removed as a host city on 23 April 2021, not being able to ensure spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with their round of 16 fixture reallocated to Wembley.
The current incarnation of Wembley Stadium opened in 2007 on the site of the original stadium, which was demolished from 2002 to 2003. The stadium is owned by The Football Association and serves as the national stadium of the England national team. The original stadium, formerly known as the Empire Stadium, was opened in 1923 and hosted several matches at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, including the final which saw hosts England beat West Germany 4–2 after extra time, and at UEFA Euro 1996, including the final in which Germany defeated the Czech Republic 2–1 after extra time via the now defunct golden goal rule. Wembley has also hosted every final of the FA Cup since the White Horse Final of 1923 (excluding 2001–06, when the stadium was being rebuilt). Wembley's hosting of both the semi finals and the final remained subject to UEFA and the Government of the United Kingdom reaching an agreement over quarantine rules for fans and VIPs. The Puskás Aréna in Budapest was seen as the prime candidate to replace Wembley, should it not be able to host the final. Despite this, UEFA remained confident that Wembley could host the final. On 22 June, the UK government altered the COVID-19 limitations in London to allow 75% of the stadium's capacity to be used, meaning that 60,000 spectators were expected to be present at the final as long as they show proof of having been tested or fully vaccinated. Special permission was also granted for up to 1,000 fans to fly in from Italy to watch the game. Special conditions, including being tested for COVID-19 before arrival, not being in the country for more than 12 hours, using dedicated transport and being in segregated seating at Wembley applied to the supporters from Italy.
Before the start of the tournament, England and Italy were considered two of the favourites to win the tournament. They were ranked fourth and seventh, respectively, in the FIFA World Rankings released before the start of the tournament. Both are FIFA World Cup champions, with Italy winning four times, the last time in 2006, and England winning it once in 1966 on home soil. Italy won the European Championship in 1968 on home soil, while England has only reached the semi-finals twice. Despite the final taking place in London, Italy were the "home team" for administrative purposes.
Italy had previously played in three European Championship finals; they won against Yugoslavia in 1968 on home soil after a replay, lost via a golden goal against France in the Netherlands in 2000, and lost against Spain in Ukraine in 2012. They entered the final on a 33-match unbeaten run, the third-longest in international football history behind the 35-match streak of Brazil (1993–1996) and Spain (2007–2009), having last lost 1–0 to Portugal in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League on 10 September 2018. Italy were also on a 27-match unbeaten run in competitive fixtures, only behind the 29-match streak of Spain from 2010 to 2013.
England made their debut in the final of the European Championship, having previously been eliminated in the semi-finals on two occasions, in 1968 (by Yugoslavia), and in 1996 (by Germany) as hosts. The final was England's first at a major tournament since winning the 1966 FIFA World Cup as hosts, the only other final they have reached. England also become the third nation of the 21st century, after Portugal in 2004 and France in 2016, to play in a European Championship final on home soil; however, both previous hosts lost their respective finals, against Greece in 2004 and Portugal in 2016. Apart from Italy's aforementioned win as hosts in 1968, the only other two occasions where a team played the final on home soil (Spain in 1964 and France in 1984) saw victory for the hosting side. Italy sought to win a major tournament for the first time in fifteen years, their last major triumph being victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on penalties against France. This tournament success follows Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Azzurri's first absence at a major tournament since the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
The two teams had previously met 27 times, with their first encounter taking place in 1933, a 1–1 draw in Rome. Before the final, Italy had won ten of these meetings, England eight, and nine were draws. Their last meeting was a 2018 friendly in London, also a 1–1 draw. All four of their previous competitive meetings at major tournaments resulted in Italian victories: winning in the group stage of the UEFA Euro 1980, the third place play-off of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2012 (on penalties), and the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Route to the final
|Group A winners
|Final standings||Group D winners
||2–1 (a.e.t.)||Round of 16||
||1–1 (a.e.t.) (4–2 p)||Semi-finals||
Italy qualified for the tournament as Group J winners with a perfect record of ten wins out of ten, and were drawn in Group A, along with Switzerland, Turkey and Wales; being one of the host nations, Italy played all three group games at home at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. Italy opened the tournament with a 3–0 win over Turkey, with Turkish defender Merih Demiral scoring an own goal to give the Italians the lead in the 53rd minute, before Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne netted two further attempts. Italy then managed to overcome a highly defensive Switzerland with another 3–0 triumph, with Manuel Locatelli scoring twice and Ciro Immobile netting the last goal to seal a place into the round of sixteen with a game to spare, despite captain Giorgio Chiellini suffering an injury. Having already secured a place in the knockout phase, Italy beat Wales 1–0 with a heavily rotated squad, with Matteo Pessina scoring the only goal in the first half to ensure the side finished with a perfect record in the group stage.
In the round of sixteen played at Wembley Stadium, Italy struggled against a very motivated and disciplined Austria, who had finished second in Group C. Austria's Marko Arnautović had a goal in the 67th minute ruled out for offside, and it was only in the first period of extra time that Italian substitutes Federico Chiesa and Pessina each delivered a goal to give Italy a 2–0 lead. Despite substitute Saša Kalajdžić salvaging a goal for Austria in the second half of extra time (the first goal conceded by the Italians at the tournament), Italy held on to reach the quarter-finals.
Italy's quarter-final encounter against FIFA top-ranked Belgium, played in Munich's Allianz Arena, saw strong Italian domination, as Nicolò Barella beat Thibaut Courtois to score in the 31st minute, before Insigne doubled Italy's lead in the 44th minute with a powerful strike; Belgium's Romelu Lukaku then converted a successful penalty during stoppage time of the first half. Despite an achilles injury in the second half to Leonardo Spinazzola that ruled him out for the rest of the tournament, Italy once again held the scoreline to eliminate the Belgians.
Italy then returned to Wembley to face Spain in the semi-finals, the fourth consecutive European Championship where the two sides met. In a tight game dominated by possession football, Italy got the breakthrough from Chiesa after sixty minutes; however, 20 minutes later Álvaro Morata equalised for Spain to level the match at 1–1. No further goals were scored in extra time, resulting in a penalty shoot-out; both Locatelli and Dani Olmo failed to score the first penalties for their respective sides, before Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Spain's fourth kick from Morata. Jorginho then scored the subsequent penalty to take Italy to their first European final since 2012.
England qualified by topping Group A, winning seven and losing just one of their eight qualification matches. They were drawn into Group D, and like Italy, also played their three group matches at their home stadium, Wembley. Drawn together with England in Group D were co-hosts Scotland, qualification rivals Czech Republic and 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Croatia, who had eliminated England at the aforementioned tournament. England started with a difficult 1–0 win over Croatia, Raheem Sterling being the difference with his goal in the 57th minute giving England their first three points; it was the first time that England had won the opening game of the group stage at a European Championship. In their second match, England were frustrated by old rivals Scotland to a goalless draw despite plenty of opportunities to finish the game; despite this, England were guaranteed a place in the last sixteen before their final group match due to other group results. England then confirmed top spot in the group by beating the Czech Republic 1–0, with a goal from Sterling early in the game. Acquiring seven points in the process, England knew they would remain at Wembley for the round of sixteen but would be facing a difficult tie with the runners-up from Group F.
England faced Germany at Wembley in the second round, another chapter in the two sides' long-running rivalry, where Sterling once again broke the deadlock, after 75 minutes. England then survived a scare when Germany's Thomas Müller ran through on goal but shot inches wide, before Harry Kane became the second player to score for England in the tournament to seal a historic 2–0 win, the first for the team against a German national side in the knockout stages of an international tournament since the 1966 World Cup final.
England's quarter-final, played at Rome's Stadio Olimpico (their only match outside of Wembley in the entire tournament), saw the side outplay dark horse Ukraine in a 4–0 win, with Kane scoring twice and Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson (with his first international goal) netting the others to give England their biggest ever victory at the European Championship finals.
In the semi-finals, England hosted Denmark at Wembley, and conceded their first goal of the tournament after thirty minutes, when Mikkel Damsgaard netted with a thunderous free kick that Jordan Pickford failed to keep out. Efforts to equalise by England eventually paid off less than ten minutes later with an own goal by Simon Kjær, but both sides failed to find another goal in normal time. In extra time, a penalty for a foul on Sterling was given to England in the first period. Harry Kane took the spot kick, scoring his fourth goal of the tournament from the rebound after his initial effort was saved by Kasper Schmeichel, to put England in a 2–1 lead. His side would hold on for the remainder of extra time, ending Denmark's dream run to see England qualify for a first-ever European final, and a first final overall since 1966, when they hosted the World Cup. The Queen, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the president of The Football Association, Prince William, all congratulated the England team on their run in the tournament, wishing them good luck in the final.
On 8 July 2021, the UEFA Referees Committee announced the officiating team for the final, led by 48-year-old Dutch referee Björn Kuipers of the Royal Dutch Football Association. He was joined be three of his compatriots, with Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra as assistant referees, and Pol van Boekel as one of the assistant VAR officials. Spaniard Carlos del Cerro Grande was chosen as the fourth official, with his fellow countryman Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez as the reserve assistant referee. Bastian Dankert of Germany was selected as the video assistant referee for the match, the first use of the technology in the final of the European Championship, and was joined by fellow countrymen Christian Gittelmann and Marco Fritz as the remaining assistant VAR officials.
Kuipers had been a FIFA referee since 2006, and was the first Dutch referee to officiate a European Championship final. UEFA Euro 2020 was his fifth major international tournament, after the European Championship in 2012 and 2016, and the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018. He officiated three prior matches in the tournament: Denmark vs Belgium and Slovakia vs Spain in the group stage, as well as the Czech Republic vs Denmark quarter-final fixture. The match was the ninth international final for Kuipers, having officiated the finals of various UEFA youth competitions as well as the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2013–14 UEFA Champions League, 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. Domestically, he officiated the KNVB Cup finals in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2021, as well as the Johan Cruyff Shield in 2009 and 2012. The final was the fourth match Kuipers has officiated of Italy (one win, one draw and two losses) and the third of England (two wins and one loss), which includes the group stage meeting between the two sides at the 2014 World Cup, won 2–1 by Italy.
Italy had nearly all of their squad avaliable with the exception of defender Leonardo Spinazzola, who suffered an Achilles injury in Italy's quarter-final win over Belgium. Right-back Alessandro Florenzi, who had suffered a calf injury in Italy's opening match of the tournament, recovered prior to the final but lost his starting spot to Giovanni Di Lorenzo. For England, midfielder Phil Foden was a doubt with a minor foot injury, having missed England's final training session on 10 July. He was assessed further by England's medical staff prior to the match to see whether he could participate.
Thousands of England fans gathered at Wembley Stadium throughout the morning and afternoon, which prompted the police to urge anyone without tickets to not travel there. Two hours before the final, footage showed a small number of ticketless fans fighting with stewards and police as they attempted to force their way past barriers to get into the stadium. Around 400 people managed to gain access to the stadium, in block 104, without paying for a ticket. Huge crowds also gathered in Leicester Square in Central London, throwing bottles and other objects, and Trafalgar Square, where a ticketed fan zone was set up. The violence and disorder resulted in 49 people being arrested by police, and 19 police officers were injured.
Before the match started, a closing ceremony was organised by UEFA, which started at 19:45. The national anthems of each country were played prior to kick-off, and some England fans in the crowd booed during the Italian anthem, despite pleas from England manager Gareth Southgate and other former players not to do so. The match ball was brought to the centre of the pitch on a remote-control replica of a Volkswagen ID.4, as had been the case throughout the tournament. Both sides took a knee before the starting whistle, as the England team had done before all their games in the tournament.
The final was attended by many prominent politicians and world leaders, including the Italian President Sergio Mattarella, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, his spouse Catherine and their son George. There were also notable people of the showbusiness, like Tom Cruise and Kate Moss, as well as former football players and managers like David Beckham, Geoff Hurst and Fabio Capello.
Italy remained unchanged from their semi-final victory against Spain, lining up in a 4–3–3 formation. England manager Gareth Southgate made one change from their semi-final win over Denmark, with Kieran Trippier replacing Bukayo Saka. Southgate also made a tactical switch, replacing the 4–2–3–1 formation primarily used during the tournament to a 3–4–3, similar to their round of 16 match against Germany, with Trippier and Luke Shaw as wing-backs.
The match kicked-off at 20:00 local time (19:00 UTC), in cloudy and rainy conditions, in front of 67,173 spectators, with Italy playing in blue shirts, dark blue shorts and blue socks, while England played in white shirts, white shorts and white socks. England's Harry Maguire conceded a corner in the opening minute with a failed pass attempt back to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, but Maguire himself was able to clear the danger. England then launched an attack of their own, when Harry Kane passed the ball to Kieran Trippier, who ran down the right-hand side of the field. Trippier crossed the ball to the far side of the penalty area to Shaw, who scored his first goal for England. Timed at 1 minute and 57 seconds, this was the earliest goal ever in a European Championship final. In the 8th minute, Italy won a free kick just outside the penalty area, which was taken by Lorenzo Insigne; he shot, but it went over the crossbar. The match had opened at a fast pace, and England's Kyle Walker launched another attack in the 10th minute, when he passed to Trippier who had space to run forward. Trippier sent in a cross intended for Raheem Sterling, but it was intercepted and cleared by Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. England continued attacking, first through Trippier, who was given space to run down the right again and won a corner, which was caught by the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. In the 15th minute, Mason Mount won another corner when his run down the left forced Italy's Jorginho to clear the ball behind.
Italy began to dominate possession from the 15-minute mark, The Guardian's Scott Murray commenting at the time that there were "signs that [Italy] are stirring after their nightmare start". In the 20th minute, they had a chance to break upfield through Marco Verratti and Insigne after Kane had lost the ball, but a foul by Chiellini on Kane ended the move. Jorginho then sustained an injury and had to leave the field for five minutes, but was eventually able to continue. In the 24th minute, Federico Chiesa found himself in some space on the right-hand side, sending a cross into the penalty area, but his cross was defended by England. An Italian attack in the 28th minute ended when Insigne shot wide. He then had another chance to run into the England box in the 32nd minute, after the team had advanced forward by passing it around on the left, but the England defence cleared once more.
For some time, England had been unable to retain the ball whenever they won it back, but in the 34th minute they had a good chance to double their lead when Kane passed a ball towards Sterling in the attacking third. Sterling passed to Mount, who attempted to pass back to Sterling, but Italy were able to intercept and prevent a likely goal. Italy then had a chance of their own a minute later, when Chiesa beat England's Shaw and Declan Rice before running at the goal and shooting from 25 yards (23 m) out. His shot had Pickford beaten, but it went slightly to the side of the goalpost. Shortly before half-time, Italy had what Murray described as their "best move of the match", Giovanni Di Lorenzo crossing to Ciro Immobile, 12 yards (11 m) from goal, but John Stones blocked his shot and then Verratti's follow-up was claimed by Pickford. Italy had one more chance, Leonardo Bonucci having a long-range shot, but it was high and wide. The referee then blew the half-time whistle, with the score at 1–0 to England. Italy had dominated possession in the first half, but England's defence had limited their attack to just one shot on target.
England kicked off the second half. Italy's Nicolò Barella received the first yellow card of the match in the 47th minute for a foul on Kane. Sterling then ran with the ball into the Italian penalty area, taking it between Bonucci and Chiellini before falling to the ground. Sterling wanted a penalty, but the referee decided there had not been a foul. Italy won a free kick on the edge of the England penalty area in the 50th minute, when Sterling fouled Insigne; the Italian took the kick himself, but it went high and wide once again. Two minutes later, Chiesa ran down the right-hand side before sending a long cross towards Insigne. Walker intercepted, heading back to Pickford, then Insigne had another run into the English penalty area from the left, before hitting a shot wide of the goal. Italy made the first substitutions of the game in the 54th minute, bringing on Bryan Cristante and Domenico Berardi for Immobile and Barella.
In the 55th minute, Bonucci fouled Sterling from behind and was booked by the referee. England's free kick reached Maguire 8 yards (7 m) from goal, but his header went over the crossbar. Italy then attacked at the other end; a long-range shot from Chiesa was deflected into the path of Insigne, who fired a powerful shot at goal, but Pickford saved it. As they had in the first half, Italy began to dominate possession. Just after the hour mark, Chiesa dribbled the ball across the edge of the England penalty area, before getting space to fire a shot at goal, which was once again saved by Pickford. England managed to retain the ball for a few minutes after this, Shaw launching an attack up the left that ended when his pass failed to reach Mount. Italy were on the attack again in the 66th minute, when Chiesa sent a curling cross in from the left. Insigne had the chance to score from 6 yards (5 m), but was not able to jump high enough to head the ball. A minute later, Italy won a corner, which was flicked on by Cristante to Verratti, who headed the ball towards goal; it hit the post, but Bonucci was able to react quickest and hit the ball into the goal for Italy's equaliser. At the age of 34 years and 71 days, Bonucci became the oldest scorer in the final of a European Championship.
With the score tied at 1–1, England manager Southgate made a tactical substitution, bringing on the attacking player Bukayo Saka in place of Trippier and switched to a 4–3–3. After another Italian attack in the 73rd minute, which ended when Berardi failed to control the ball in the England penalty area having run behind the England defence, Southgate made a second switch, bringing on Jordan Henderson for Rice. Italy continued to dominate, with almost all the play taking place in England's half of the field. Chiesa ran down the left in the 80th minute, beating Walker and Saka, before being dispossessed by Phillips and falling to the ground. The referee deemed the challenge to have been a legal one; however, Chiesa was injured and limped off the field. He attempted to continue but eventually had to be replaced by Federico Bernardeschi in the 86th minute. Meanwhile, England had a chance when Mount dribbled into the Italy penalty area and passed to Saka, but he was unable to control the ball. Insigne was then booked for a foul on Phillips; England's free kick was cleared by Italy as far as Shaw, whose shot was then fired over the crossbar. In the 87th minute, the match was briefly halted when a pitch invader ran onto the field. Sterling made a run down the left into the penalty area in the 89th minute, but the ball ended up going behind for a goal kick under pressure from Bonucci and Chiellini. England free kick in injury time reached Stones, but he was unable to score. After Italy had advanced down the right through Cristante, Walker chested the ball to Pickford. In the last act of normal time, Saka broke free from Chiellini on the right-hand side. Chiellini grabbed Saka's shirt from behind, hauling him to the ground. Chiellini received a yellow card, but the attack was halted, the resulting free kick was cleared, and the game went to extra time with a score of 1–1.
Italy manager Roberto Mancini made a substitution early in extra time, bringing on Andrea Belotti for Insigne, the last of Italy's three starting attackers. He then replaced Verratti with Manuel Locatelli. In the 96th minute, Sterling ran in from the left, following a pass by Henderson. In what the Sky Sports live commentary team described as a "big, big chance for England", Sterling tried to find Kane or Saka in the middle, but Italy's Chiellini cleared for a corner. The corner led to a chance for England through Phillips, but his low shot went wide and Donnarumma had it covered. In the 99th minute, Jack Grealish came on for England, replacing Mount. Phillips was then fouled just outside the area, but the referee chose to play advantage instead of giving England a free kick and the attack broke down. Grealish had his first chance to attack in the 101st minute, taking the ball into the penalty area and passing to Saka, but it was deflected and failed to reach him. Italy then had a chance in the 103rd minute, when Emerson beat Walker and crossed to Bernardeschi. The Italy winger failed to make contact with the ball and Pickford was able to punch the ball clear. The first half of extra time finished with the score still at 1–1.
Maguire earned England's first yellow card of the evening for a foul on Belotti in the 106th minute. The resulting free kick was fired through England's wall by Bernardeschi, but Pickford saved before retrieving the rebound himself to end the danger. In the 108th minute, Walker sent a long throw-in into the Italian penalty area, which was cleared by Italy as far as Kane; England's captain crossed the ball in, but Donnarumma was able to put Stones off enough to prevent him heading in the winning goal. Sterling beat Chiellini close to the Italian by-line in the 111th minute, but the Italian then won the ball back and was able to clear. Two minutes later, Jorginho fouled Grealish as the two of them challenged for the ball, stamping on his thigh and receiving a booking. With the end of extra time approaching, both teams made late substitutions; Alessandro Florenzi came on for Italy in place of Emerson, while Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford replaced Walker and Henderson for England. With no further significant attacks, the game finished 1–1 after extra time and went to a penalty shoot-out.
Italy kicked first in the penalty shoot-out, which took place at the goal behind which a large number of England fans were situated. Both sides' first penalties (from Berardi and Kane) were successful. England goalkeeper Pickford then saved from Belotti, before Maguire successfully converted his kick to give England a 2–1 advantage. Bonucci scored his penalty to bring the score to 2–2, before late substitute Rashford hit the left-hand post with England's third penalty following a stuttered run-up. Bernardeschi gave Italy the lead again with a low shot down the middle, before England's other late substitute Sancho had his shot to the right saved by Donnarumma. Jorginho stepped up to take the possible match-winning penalty for Italy, looking to repeat his feat from the semi-final shoot-out victory over Spain, but had his shot to the left of the goal saved by Pickford. With the score 3–2 to Italy, Saka took England's fifth penalty looking to equalise and send the shoot-out to sudden death, but Donnarumma saved it to secure Italy's second European Championship.
Italy secured their second UEFA European Championship title with the win on penalties, 53 years after their first title in 1968, the longest duration between European Championship titles. Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci was named as the man of the match, while his teammate Gianluigi Donnarumma was named as the UEFA European Championship Player of the Tournament, the first goalkeeper to win the award. Italy midfielder Jorginho became the 10th player to appear in and win the final of both the UEFA Champions League and European Championship in the same season, having won the Champions League final six weeks earlier with Chelsea. The match was the seventh European Championship final to go to extra time (after 1960, 1968, 1976, 1996, 2000, and 2016), and the second to be decided on penalties (after 1976). Italy became the first team to win two penalty shoot-outs at a single European Championship tournament.
England football players Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford were subjected to racist abuse online after missing penalties in the shootout. The players took the last three penalties, two of which were saved by Donnarumma (Rashford's penalty struck the post and bounced out), and were all immediately targeted with racist language and emojis on their social media accounts. The Football Association "strongly condemned" the racist abuse and said it was "appalled by the online racism" aimed at some players on social media. In a statement, it said: "We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible. We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences. Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse." The Metropolitan Police began investigating the abuse and said on Twitter that the abuse was "totally unacceptable" and it would not be tolerated.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer and the President of the FA Prince William, Duke of Cambridge also condemned the racist abuse. A mural in Manchester honouring Rashford's campaigning against child hunger was vandalised soon after the match. The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham condemned the defacing, calling it a "despicable, shameful act", and a police investigation was launched into the incident. The mural was later decorated with hearts, flags, and supportive messages by members of the public. On 12 July 2021, a day after the final, the Football Association said it would conduct a full review into how people without tickets were able to breach security and gain access to Wembley stadium for the Euro 2020 Final.
Broadcasting and viewership
ITV and the BBC both broadcast the game live in the UK. ITV planned to show a film, The Italian Job, ahead of the game. ITV's coverage of the game began at 18:30 British Summer Time and was presented by Mark Pougatch with punditry from Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Gary Neville, and pitchside analysis from Ashley Cole and Emma Hayes. ITV's commentators for the match were Sam Matterface and Lee Dixon. The BBC planned to begin its television coverage 10 minutes earlier than ITV, and announced Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard as its game analysts, alongside presenter Gary Lineker; commentators Guy Mowbray and Jermaine Jenas were supported by pitchside analysis from Jürgen Klinsmann and Alex Scott. The UK's Channel 4, which did not have rights to broadcast the tournament, instead aired, in a British television premiere, the full 1966 FIFA World Cup Final in colour the day before the game. In Italy, the final was covered by state broadcaster RAI and pay TV broadcaster Sky Italia.
In the United Kingdom, the match's viewership on television peaked at 30.95 million during the penalty shootout, the highest viewing figure since 1997 for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Ratings also suggested that nearly 29.85 million people watched the entire match. In Italy, the match drew a viewership of 18.17 million on Rai 1, which was around 73.7% of the market share, and peaked at 18.54 million, with 78.7% of market share, on penalties. The match broadcast by Sky Italia drew 2.43 million viewers and 9.9% of market share, and reached 3.16 million unique viewers.
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