On a night of immense tension, Italy was crowned the champions of the UEFA Euro 2020 after defeating England in a penalty shootout with a score of 3-2 on July 11 at the Wembley Stadium in London.
Italy’s victory was not clear cut in the first half as England’s Luke Shaw scored the fastest goal in Euro final history in a minute and 57 seconds, causing a huge eruption of applause. England continued to dominate the midfield with the duo of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillip, but it wasn’t enough to score another goal.
Italy’s recognizable strength, after being unbeaten in 33 consecutive matches and conceding only 10 goals, made an appearance in the second half in the form of equalizing the game at the 67th minute mark — credit to Leonardo Bonucci silencing the crowd.
In celebration of his goal, Bonucci ran to the camera closest to the net and screamed to the viewers, both in the stadium and across the world, “It’s coming to Rome. It’s coming to Rome!”
The phrase was altered in mockery of the English fans who chanted “It’s coming home. It’s coming home. It’s coming. Football’s coming home,” during this year’s Euros. The words were actually repopularized by the fans as it was released in 1996, when England hosted the Euros; coincidentally or not the slogan of that year’s championship was: Football Coming Home.
The 1-1 score stayed put through the remaining 23 minutes and also 30 minutes of extended time, leading to the highly stressful penalty shootout. For those unfamiliar with how penalties work, five players of both teams are picked to participate and alternate between shots. To determine which team begins the penalties, the captains of both teams meet with the referee and settle it with a coin toss. The team that scores the most penalties after the first five takes wins the match.
In order: Domenico Berardi, Italian forward, scored after putting the ball in the bottom left. Harry Kane, England’s captain, scored the same way as Berardi and gave England its first point. Their goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved Andrea Belotti’s shot while Harry Maguire, England’s defender, scored at the top right corner. Leonardo Bonucci once again equalized the score, this time being 2-2. Marcus Rashford, forward, misses his shot by hitting the left post and Federico Bernadeschi scores at the center of the goal. That would end up being the winning goal as England’s Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their shots. As a result, Italy won the shootout with a score of 3-2.
Italy’s win marks the first time that it won the Euros since 1968. Bonucci was right — football came to Rome and not home – to England.