England were left devastated after losing the Euro 2020 final in the crucible pressure cooker of penalty shootouts to a stoic Italy team and the players' reactions in the aftermath has drawn some ire.
The nation's dream of seeing their team lift the European Championship in front of a raucous home crowd came crashing down in heartbreaking fashion against Italy after losing in penalties after a 1-1 stalemate.
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The scenes at Wembley before and during the game was of a raucous party atmosphere, but an eery hush fell across the stadium as Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the hero.
Italy celebrated the dramatic win, which has brought relief and joy to a nation ravaged by Covid-19 over the last 16 months.
The England players were visibly distraught after having the trophy in their grasp having gone 1-0 up in the game in the 3rd minute and also gaining the advantage in the penalty shootout.
However, during the trophy ceremony, England's players couldn't hide their disappointment.
The English players were awarded the runners-up medal on stage as it was placed around their necks.
But, a number of them immediately removed the medal before even taking a step.
This drew the ire of many fans who felt the symbol itself was 'disrespectful' and not a good look of sportsmanship for the millions of young aspiring athletes watching.
And all that taking the medal of is disrespectful
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) July 11, 2021
So embarrassed to see players take their medals off - you overpaid ungreatful tossers!! The public have paid to see you get that medal !!! You have got to the final the country have been behind you - wear your medal with pride I am proud of what you have achieved - thank you xx
— Stephanie Zak (@stephzak) July 11, 2021
And England didn't want any medal pic.twitter.com/CfCQOZDzAO
— Mathioya Kihumba (@GithuiMainaKihu) July 11, 2021
I really don’t get why England players took off the medals so quickly and dismissively. Bad vibe x sport. They played well throughout the tournament. Period.
— Mariana Mazzucato (@MazzucatoM) July 11, 2021
— katy ✿ (@wonderchanges) July 11, 2021
Is it just me or did it feel like a complete disrespect by Team England, as they walked out removing the runners up medal (some didn’t even bother to wear it properly, while some removed it on the podium itself). Loss is tough, but a little respect for that honour, at least?
— Priya Adivarekar (@priyaadivarekar) July 11, 2021
England showing a real lack of respect by removing their silver medals as soon as they’re given. Poor sportsmanship no matter how disappointed they must be.
— Gordon McInally (@gordonmcinally) July 11, 2021
England players taking off the medals as they receive them... really not a good look.
— Emma-Luisa Magliocco 🇮🇹 (@EmmaL_R90) July 11, 2021
England players taking off the runners up medals are the height of disrespect imo... Jordan Henderson however, one of the most decorated players in the squad keeps the medal on, yet Phillips of Leeds, Grealish of Villa and Ramsdale of Sheffield United treat it like dirt...
— Patryk Doherty (@PatrykZD2) July 11, 2021
And how classy the English players were in taking off their medals as if they were hot coals. Little England, indeed. https://t.co/gfJcsAZQ0Z
— Matt Karnitschnig (@MKarnitschnig) July 11, 2021
So the majority of the England players are now quickly taking off their runner-up medals like spoilt children. Pathetic!
I know they are hurting, but as a former gymnast if I was the runner up, I would still wear my silver medal with pride!
— Jack Henry 🏴🇪🇺 (@JHenryCDF) July 11, 2021
The disrespect the England players show by taking those medals off.
— Adrian Weckler (@adrianweckler) July 11, 2021
— Niall Williams 🏴 (@welshrower) July 11, 2021
In contrast, Kalvin Phllips showed his appreciation and was seen kissing the medal to acknowledge the nation's achievement.
Kalvin Phillips appreciates the honour to represent England and kisses his medal with pride. pic.twitter.com/XmtVcyiHsQ
— Lim (@hartebeat21) July 11, 2021
Italy fight back in Euro 2020 final
Luke Shaw's record-setting first half goal for England was cancelled out by Italian veteran Leonardo Bonucci in the second half, before Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the hero in a drama-charged penalty shootout.
Shaw gave England a dream start after scoring the fastest ever goal in a European championship final.
The Manchester United fullback started and completed a superb passing move from the home side - meeting Kieran Trippier's cross from the right with a sweetly struck half-volley that grazed the side of the post before nestling into the net inside two minutes.
Italy gradually worked their way back into the contest, with Federico Chiesa a constant menace for England as he caused havoc on both flanks for the visitors.
The home side failed to deal with an Italian corner and after Pickford touched a header onto the post, Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci was on hand to sweep in a 67th minute equaliser.
Italy continued to dominate proceedings after the goal but couldn't convert the pressure into a winning goal as the match went into extra time.
Italy took it to England in the final moments after a series of late changes, but neither side could fashion a breakthrough before the dreaded penalty shootout.
The Azzurri eventually prevailed in penalties to seal a historic Euro victory.
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