We want to say a huge thank you to the England squad for their amazing performance at the Euro 2020 Championships.
After more than 18 months of lockdowns and lives put on hold due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the whole world needed something to look forward to. The Euro 2020 Championships kicked off on June 11th after being postponed for a whole year.
Many thought it may be cancelled altogether and some said it should have but it happened and it was just what a lot of people needed to inject some hope of normal times to come.
England started slowly with a not so impressive 1-0 win over Croatia, followed by a tense and very guarded draw against the old enemy, Scotland at Wembly.
It seemed that out Euros joy was going to be short-lived until we secured a place in the round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Czech Republic thanks to Raheem Sterling's second goal of the tournament.
Next up was the other old enemy, Germany. After losing so many times to them in major tournaments, you wouldn't have been blamed for thinking it was about to be all over. Two goals from Raheem Sterling, and captain Harry Kane sent the country into euphoria. Now it was GAME ON!
England, in fact, went all the way to the Euro 2020 finals and put on an amazing performance against Italy, coming incredibly close to winning the trophy for the first time.
It was a pleasure to watch the Three Lions playing with pride, spirit and hunger for glory. They held their nerve and didn't let the pressure from an expectant country hold them back or hamper their performance.
The country enjoyed a high that lasted a whole month and we came so close to the ultimate prize but this time it wasn't to be. The future however is bright and all sights are now set on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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The England goal was in safe hands throughout the tournament, thanks to Goalkeepers Jordan Pickford. True fans renamed a street after him in Tooting South West London.
The belief now was - It's coming home
With a quarter finals clash again Ukraine ahead of England. An easyish route to the finals was on the cards. The 1996 anthem 'It's Coming Home' by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds started falling off the lips of everyone in the country.
England made light work of Ukraine with a 4-0 drubbing. Harry Kane netted two goals, Harry Maguire got on the score sheet, and so did Liverpool's Jordan Henderson scored his first goal in an England shirt.
Whose next? Oh it's the Danes. Not as easy an opponent as we might have hoped for. Denmark was on a high after suffering a major loss in their opener against Finland when star player Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch. Thankfully he survived.
The incident galvanised the team. Smashed through the group stage and made it all the way to the semi's with a hunger in their eyes that only victory over England will satisfy.
This encounter was always going to be tough - Understatement! It was hellish, nerve racking and extra time was needed to separate the two.
An own goal from Denmark's Simon Kjaer and a desperately needed winner from Harry Kane booked England a place in the Finals with a 2-1 win. Thankfully, we didn't need penalties to settle the match.
Sterling Road the makeshift sign in Tooting SW17 says. A nod to the goalscoring prowess of England's most experienced player (65 Caps) at the Euro 2020 Championships.
England vs Italy in the Euro 2020 Final
So, against quite a lot of odds, England finally arrives in the first major final of a football tournament since 1966.
The only team standing in the way of the Three Lions is Italy, a country steeped in footballing success including four World Cups (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006) and one European Championship trophy to their name.
If England was going to overcome this adversary, we were going to need to come out roaring and make a good start of it. Before the minute handle rotated twice around the clock, Luke Shaw stunned the Italians and to be honest quite a lot of England fans by smashing in a half volley of a shot into the net from a Kieran Trippier telescopic cross.
The dream continues... but not for long as Italy regrouped and started to play some of the silk and steel football they are known for. They pressed and pressed until they finally turn the England dream into not quite a nightmare but a sudden wake with a goal-mouth scramble from a corner kick, which eventually ended up in the back of Pickfords net.
England, still reeling from the Italian equaliser, redoubled their efforts but that all elusive winner just didn't materialise before the end of the 90 minutes.
March on to extra time and it was more of the same. With every touch of the ball both teams had a penalty shoot out in the back of their minds.
After the 30 minutes, the England dream seemed very likely to turn into a nightmare with a penalty shoot out looming and so it did when three young but very talented England players, Rashford, Sancho and Saka all missed their penalties, which handed victory to the Italians.
England lost the final but won the hearts of the nation for their gallant efforts and thrilling entertainment over the course of the tournament.
Soon after the match, the black players who missed their penalties were subject to racial abuse by internet trolls on social media channels. We'd like to see them score a penalty and score against a 6 foot 5 inch professional Italian goalkeeper that randomly and very luckily chose to dive in the right direction.
To the trolls that tried to spoil what was a heroic effort from ALL the players of the England team, we say 'LOSERS' with a capital 'L'. Jog on and no one wants you in football.
In one corner of London, Tooting in SW17, fans of the England team decided to congratulate the players by naming streets after them. We don't condone vandalism but these street name nods are great.
19-year-old Bukayo Saka may have missed a crucial penalty but loyal England fans in Tooting in South London have shown him support by renaming a street after him. Pure class!
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Qualifying for Euro 2020
Before England got to the actual championships, they first had to qualify. They secured their spot from a group that included Cezch Republic, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Montenegro. A seemingly easy group to qualify out of but nothing is easy in International football anymore.
Once qualification was secured, Manager Gareth Southgate had the difficult task of team selection for the tournament proper. The full squad is listed below. Quite an incredible team on paper and pretty slick on the pitch too.