The English wanted this final! Gareth Southgate’s men will be able to play in the first final since 1966, when they beat the Danes in extra time. It will be against Italy of Roberto Mancini, Sunday, July 11th. A first at this level.
Until Sunday, these two giants of soccer had never faced each other in the final. Almost an anomaly when you remember that England invented soccer and that Italy has four stars on its shirt. By beating Denmark (2-1, a.p) on Wednesday night at Wembley, the Three Lions are assured of finally playing another major tournament final, once again in their hallowed temple, fifty-five years after England’s 1966 World Cup triumph.
This clash against Italy, unprecedented at this level of the competition, will sound like a revenge to the quarter-final of Euro 2012, won on penalties by the Azzurri (0-0 a.p., 4-2 t.a.b.). In this competition, the two teams have crossed swords once before, it was in Turin in 1990. Tardelli had put a small goal, enough to pocket the points of victory in the group stage. At a major finals, Italy has simply never lost to England. In all, the two teams have met 27 times, with the Azzurri winning 11 times and England 8. On eight occasions, the two teams have played to a draw.