Italy vs England Final LIVE Football Match Score July 11/7/2021
While Gareth Southgate’s side enjoyed a successful run in the 2018 World Cup, narrowly losing to Croatia in the semi-finals, this is Italy’s first appearance in a major tournament since the 2016 European Championship. The World Cup in Russia was the first time Italy had not qualified for a major tournament in 60 years but, since Roberto Mancini took over in 2018, they have gone 33 matches unbeaten and are in the 2020 Euro final.
Italian football has traditionally been associated with miserly defending and a reluctance to play expansively, even when a game is won. Until this summer, Italy had never scored more than two goals in a European Championship match, despite winning the competition once and twice finishing as runners-up. Italy have won 28, drawn eight and lost only two under the former Man City boss, while also breaking their own international record of going 19 hours without conceding before Austria scored against them in the last 16. In this tournament, however, adopting Manini’s new adventurous style of play they won their first two games 3-0 against Turkey and Switzerland blowing both teams away with vibrant performances full of attacking intent.
Hopefully Harry Kane likes hugs and is not psyched out by Chiellini’s calm character filled with humour, smiles and playful punches.
And, while this is undoubtedly a more adventurous Azzurri than previous Italian sides, there have been signs of their old tricks and defensive mastery as the tournament has progressed – very much led by Chiellini.
The Juventus centre-back loves nothing better than defending. His roars and high fives to celebrate a headed clearance or a big tackle have been as evident as his cheerleading role has among the players and supporters.
During Manchester City’s infamous Premier League title win of 2012, Robert Mancini was warned by Martin Tyler that he would “never see anything like this ever again”. Win the Euros with Italy, however, and that will surely be a close second.
With the wise old heads in defence, an irrepressible trio of talent in midfield and a fear-inducing attacking trident, Italy may have gone under the radar slightly before the first ball was kicked at Euro 2020, but the continental dominance has been there for all to see since 2018.
Failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia seems totally incomprehensible given how Mancini’s men have swept aside the competition over the past three years, but not since the days of Dino Zoff and Luigi Riva have the Azzurri stepped foot onto the turf for a European Championship final and come up trumps.
However, the Italians may just be 90 minutes away from ending that agonising 53-year wait for continental silverware, as after sweeping aside Turkey, Switzerland and Wales in the group stage without shipping a single goal, Mancini’s men did the business in three gruelling knockout encounters.
He played for Italy under-21s in the first official game at the new Wembley 15 years ago – refusing to leave the field after receiving a head wound – and England will know that, to beat the new Italy at Wembley on Sunday, they will have to get past one of the most cunning, determined and finest defenders of the past 20 years.
Former England striker Alan Shearer told the BBC after Italy’s quarter-final win over Belgium: “The Italians had to use all of their know-how and experience in that last 10 or 15 minutes. The two old guys at the back were brilliant.”