Euro 2020 LIVE: England vs Italy in final countdown, Three Lions prepare for showpiece, Azzurri overcome Spain

ENGLAND are counting down to their first major tournament final in 55 years as they aim to win Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate's players have been enjoying some time on their unicorn inflatables before getting down to the serious business of plotting Italy's downfall in the final.

The Three Lions beat Denmark 2-1 AET at Wembley to seal a spot in Sunday's showpiece final against Italy.

Harry Kane's 105th-minute winner was enough for Gareth Southgate and his side to see their tough clash with the Danes through.

The Azzurri reached the final with a win over Spain on penalties.

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Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • Justin Lawrence

    SIGHT FOR SORE EYES

    Italy hardman Giorgio Chiellini has claimed Euro 2020 final opponents England 'aren't easy on the eye'.

    The veteran defender has been left unimpressed by their opponents' style of play heading into Sunday's huge decider.

    Chiellini told RAI Sport: "I immediately thought England would be a serious candidate to win the Euros.

    "They have quality and physicality, are solid and organised. They might not be easy on the eye, but they are hard to beat.

    “They reached the semi-final at the World Cup, plus it was predictable England would be in the final of the Euros, as they played six out of seven games on home turf.”

    Chiellini reckons England aren't easy on the eyeCredit: Getty

     

  • Justin Lawrence

    CAPTAIN KANE

    Harry Kane will look to fire England to European Championship glory on Sunday.

    And YOU can back the Three Lions centre-forward to open the scoring against Italy at boosted odds of 33/1 with Novibet's sign-up special.

    Bookmakers Novibet are offering brand new customers odds of 33/1 that Harry Kane will score first during the European Championship final.

    Register a new account with Novibet using this link HERE* and enter the Promo Code: NOVIBOOST1

    After that, deposit £10 or more and place a maximum £1 bet on Harry Kane to score the first goal.

    The bet should be placed at the regular prices shown on the Novibet website and MUST be your first bet after registering.

    If you win, Novibet will credit your account with your winnings in a mixture of cash and free bets.

    £1 bet on Harry Kane to score the first goal at 4/1 will award the player with £5 cash return, as well as an additional £29 winnings in free bet based on this offer special odds of 33/1.

    This is an example only, odds are subject to change.

    Kane is 33/1 odds to open the scoring against Italy in the Euro 2020 finalCredit: AFP

     

  • Justin Lawrence

    FREE CUDDLES

    Leonardo Bonucci has promised to seek out the Wembley stewardess who tried to stop him getting on the pitch and give her a proper hug on Sunday.

    Italy defender Bonucci was stopped from making his way back to the dressing room by a member of the stadium security who mistook him for a supporter at the end of their semi-final shoot-out victory over Spain.

    And the 34-year-old defender says he will reserve a special cuddle for the stewardess if he sees her at the end of this weekend’s Euro 2020 final against England.

    The Juventus ace said: “It was a fun experience, let's say. I was disappointed for the hug because she stopped me, but I hugged her.

    “She was a little bit cold, but I know the tension – they do a very tough job, they are spending hours to keep the fans at bay and this can happen.

    “And if I recognise her during the final, or at the end of the final I will hug her again.”

    Bonucci said he'll hug the steward who tried to stop him getting on the pitch at Wembley in Italy's semi-final shoot-out win over Spain

     

  • Justin Lawrence

    BOX TO BOX

    The BBC and ITV line-ups are out for Sunday's Euro 2020 final and the heavyweight stars have secured their starting spots in the team.

    England take on Italy at Wembley with an 8pm kick-off at the home of football.

    For the Beeb, Gary Lineker is in the host's chair with fellow legends Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard providing punditry.

    The commentary team is the first-choice pairing of Guy Mowbray supported by Jermaine Jenas.

    Gabby Logan will be the pitchside reporter with Alex Scott and Jurgen Klinsmann while Kelly Somers will conduct the interviews.

    The programme starts on BBC One and the iPlayer at 6.20pm with 100 minutes of pre-match build-up.

    ITV start their show ten minutes later as blockbuster trio Ian Wright, Roy Keane and Gary Neville join Mark Pougatch in the Wembley studio.

    Sam Matterface and Lee Dixon will call the game with the microphones from the gantry – with added in-game insight from Neville and Emma Hayes.

    Seema Jaswal fulfils the Logan role on ITV as Hayes and Ashley Cole give their thoughts before kick-off.

    The BBC and ITV have announced their line-ups to present the Euro 2020 finalCredit: pixel8000

     

  • Justin Lawrence

    'B*****KS'

    A US writer has sparked fury – and plenty of mocking – after claiming Baddiel and Skinner's Three Lions is about England's "Brexit psychodrama".

    A New Yorker article by Ryu Spaeth has offered a rather pompous take on why Brits love the beautiful game.

    Instead of focusing on the Lions' flawless performances on the pitch – and their great manners off of it – Spaeth claims our "tortured psychology" is behind our passion for Euro 2020.

    Even more hilariously, he suggests Three Lions is an anthem to an "undying belief that a postwar legacy of thwarted ambition and diminished stature will be purged in the ecstasy of a footballing triumph".

    And he claims Brexit is at the heart of it all – as leaving the EU has "seemingly reoriented every issue of importance along its tribal lines".

    Unsurprisingly, many England supporters have disagreed – and they've set about puncturing the author's pretentious waffle.

    David Baddiel was one of the first to defend his song.

    Baddiel leapt to the defence of his Three Lions anthemCredit: Twitter

     

  • Kealan Hughes

    GREAL DEAL

    A video of England star Jack Grealish saying 'oh my god' in 'the most Brummy way possible' has resurfaced – and fans love it.

    It was originally posted in 2019, captioned by Twitter user Ali Hampson-Silk with: "Have you ever seen a more Brummy mouthing."

    Many are big fans of the clip, with one writing: "Totally said this in our fantastic accent. This is brilliant."

    Twitter user Catherine added: "I can just hear this saying it! 'O muya gawd' I love this."

  • Kealan Hughes

    KHAB COMING HOME

    Khabib Nurmagomedov has backed England to beat Italy in Sunday's huge Euro 2020 final.

    The UFC icon believes football is coming home as he expects Gareth Southgate's side to land their first European Championship.

    Nurmagomedov said: "England have very good and young Lions. It's a very good team with Sterling, Kane, Mount, Phillips, Walker and Pickford.

    "They're a very good team and they're going to play at home. The last time they won was in 1966.

    "Italy have a big chance because they are a very experienced team with guys like Bonucci, Chiellini and Immobile.

    "But in my opinion England have to win because they have speed. Italy have the experience but England have a very good, young team with speed.

    "I hope England are going to win. I think they deserve it."

    Khabib Nurmagomedov backs England to beat Italy in Euro 2020 final

  • Kealan Hughes

    BOO BOYS

    Gary Neville believes booing national anthems is 'not an attack' after the FA were charged for England fans jeering Denmark's tune.

    The Manchester United legend's controversial opinion has divided fans on social media, with Gary Lineker having an opposing view.

    Neville tweeted on Friday morning: "When I played in different countries our national anthem was booed, I always took it as the opposition fans trying to unsettle us, drown our fans out and never took it as some kind of attack on us as people.

    "Same when we did it to other teams. Is it really that bad and disrespectful?"

    Gary Lineker had previously shared his view on the matter, saying: "If you're lucky enough to get a ticket for the final, please, please don't boo the Italian anthem.

    "It's an absolutely belter and worth listening to. It's bloody rude, disrespectful and utterly classless."

  • Kealan Hughes

    BACKING BUKAYO

    Jose Mourinho thinks Bukayo Saka will start in the Euro 2020 final.

    Referencing Carlos Alberto for Porto in 2004, he told talkSPORT: "I played an 18-year-old player in a Champions League final and he is still the youngest player to score in a Champions League final. No problem.

    “Of course we coaches normally think about all these details but in the end when we make these kinds of decisions we are sure of what we are doing.

    "Southgate had no problem to do that, not only with Saka but also with other players giving them chances to play.

    “The kid is proving my experience theory, which is experience has nothing to do with age.

    "He is showing great personality and I don’t think Gareth is going to leave him out."

  • Kealan Hughes

    TAKING THE PIZZ

    Pizza Express have joked about Gareth Southgate, referencing an advert from the 90s that the England boss appeared in.

    Alongside Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle Southgate was featured with a paper bag over his head, to hide the embarrassment of his penalty miss against Germany.

    And although the pizza cheered him up, Southgate humiliated himself at the end of the advert.

    Oh, how times have changed…

  • Kealan Hughes

    'WE KNOW'

    Ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte claims Italy 'know what it means to play in a final' ahead of their game against England.

    Conte is a columnist for Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and has been discussing England's chances in the final.

    The 51-year-old wrote: "England has been waiting for this match for a lifetime.

    "They have never won the European Championships and their only World Cup triumph is in 1966.

    "Wembley's help can be a huge boost but also a drag, because the players could feel the pressure.

    "We will have less support in the stands, but more experience than them on the pitch.

    "We know what it means to play in the finals. And we also know how they are won."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'INJECT IT'

    Phil Foden looked ready to burst into tears of joy celebrating Harry Kane's Euro 2020 semi-final winner for England against Denmark – and fans loved it.

    And judging by his reaction against the Danes, Foden will be doing all he can to convince the boss to start him.

    The Manchester City youngster sprinted after Kane after the captain had tucked home a rebound after seeing his penalty saved.

    You could see the passion and delight etched all over Foden's face as the reaction sunk in at what the lads were about to do.

    Kieren Laverick wrote on Twitter: "Inject Phil Foden's celebrations into my veins."

    Another Three Lions fan posted: "Surely Foden’s celebration of Kane’s goal has to be the best ever goal celebration assist of all time."

    England fans love Phil Foden’s passionate celebration after Harry Kane’s goal with midfielder almost crying with joy

  • Kealan Hughes

    ANXIOUS AZZURRI

    Italy have suffered a coronavirus scare with three media staff testing positive at the team's HQ just two days before their Euro 2020 final against England.

    Officials immediately strengthened the bubble around the team and carried out a series of tests to make sure none of the players or immediate staff were also affected.

    Their training camp at Coverciano, on the outskirts of Florence, was immediately shut and a specialist cleaning team was brought in to sanitize the facility.

    A source at the Italian FA said: "It's not the ideal preparation for the team and we are making sure that none of them are infected but we are taking no chances and tests are being carried out.

    "The chance of infection with any of the team is small but we want to be sure."

  • Kealan Hughes

    SPOT OF BOTHER

    Former England star Jamie Carragher is tipping the Three Lions to WIN Euro 2020 – but in nail-biting fashion.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, former Liverpool centre-half Carragher predicted how the game would go.

    He said: "I think it will be a very tight game. I think it may go to penalties and England come out victorious.

    "We have done a lot of work on penalties, so let's not let that go to waste!

    "I don't think there will be too many goals in the game. Italy are very strong defensively, so are England.

    "I think it will be 1-1 and then go to penalties.

    "I think it's the right final. I think they have been the two most impressive teams in this competition – and winner takes all on Sunday."

  • Kealan Hughes

    MORE FROM CHIELLINI

    "(Getting to the final is) a dream we've been chasing over the years, a dream we've been carrying [with us] for three years, a dream our coach slowly put in our minds until it became true.

    "At the beginning, when he told us to have in our minds the idea of winning the EURO, we thought he was crazy; instead, during these years he has created a team which is now on the brink of doing that.

    "And as he has repeated to us after every match, 'one centimetre at a time', and now there is only the last centimetre left."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'IT WILL BE A GREAT MATCH'

    Italy's Giorgio Chiellini has been speaking about Sunday's final and he has revealed his admiration for Harry Kane.

    He told Uefa.com: "It will be tough. Extremely tough. I have always liked [Harry Kane] a lot.

    "I still remember one of his first matches with England, when we played against them in Turin [on Kane's full England debut, a 1-1 draw in 2015].

    "Even then he made a huge impression on me. I was lucky enough to play against him [in a game against] Tottenham. He knows how to play deep and how to play a defence-splitting pass for a team-mate. He scores with his head and from long and close range.

    "England are clearly not just Kane because they have amazing players on both wings and their substitutes could all be in the starting XI of a team that wins this competition.

    "Players like [Jack] Grealish, [Jadon] Sancho, [Marcus] Rashford, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin, [Phil] Foden were all on the bench but they're top players, including [Jordan] Henderson – Liverpool's captain.

    "It will be a great match. Neither team will be afraid but both will have a lot of respect for each other."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'KANE YOU BELIEVE IT' 

    England captain Harry Kane was reunited with his wife Kate after the team's victory against Denmark – but from a distance.

    Gareth Southgate's players aren't allowed to hug their loved ones during Euro 2020 due to a strict Covid-19 bubble.

    Kate was reunited with her husband after England's semi-final triumph, taking a socially-distanced selfie with the Tottenham striker.

    Kane has been away from his wife and three kids since the end of May due to a Covid bubble.

    The married couple were separated by a huge banner, although they were both smiling after England narrowly defeated Denmark in London.

    Kate posted the picture on Instagram with the caption: "Kane you believe it."

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by @katekanex

  • Kealan Hughes

    GARETH'S GANG

    Gareth Southgate knows England’s chances of Euro 2020 glory depend on having not just the best team ON the pitch but the best one OFF it as well.

    That is why the manager has assembled a crack outfit of fitness coaches, nutritionists, psychologists, analysts and data scientists to try and help the Three Lions reach their first major final since 1966.

  • Kealan Hughes

    'PRICELESS'

    To show support for England after 55 years of hurt, IKEA UK has listed its own version of the UEFA Euro 2020 cup on the mugs and cups section of the IKEA website.

    And the description of the product in question reads: "It's coming home."

    Cost: Priceless

  • Kealan Hughes

    A GLASS ACT

    Guess who?

    That’s what football fans are saying about handsome Alberico Evani, who has been causing a stir on social media.

    The 58-year-old assistant coach of the Italian national team has regularly been seen on the touchline advising Roberto Mancini.

    Sporting a trendy pair of glasses, perfectly coiffured hair and a designer beard and moustache combo, Evani cuts a stylish figure in the dugout.

    But fans also believe the AC Milan legend, who starred for the club between 1980-93, also bears a striking resemblance to a character from the popular board game Guess Who?

  • Kealan Hughes

    SOUTH-GREAT!

    England's victories have ended 25 years of hurt for Gareth Southgate — and for his parents, his old pal Tony Adams has revealed.

    And now Tony, England’s Euro 1996 skipper, believes his former lieutenant is going to lead the team to glory as manager, declaring: “It is time for us to tell the world: ‘It’s our time’.”

    By beating the Germans on the way to reaching this year’s final, Tony feels his mate has “laid to rest demons of the penalty miss”.

    When Adams sent his congratulations in a text, Gareth replied: “Thank god my mum and dad don’t have to put up with all that pain anymore.”

    Adams told SunSport: "He was meant to be where he is today. Gareth has a purpose. He is very driven to making amends. Gareth is writing a story of redemption.

  • Kealan Hughes

    PIZZA THE ACTION

    Italy will be cheered on by 1,000 fans in Sunday's Euro 2020 final who will have been specially flown in after an agreement was reached between the UK government and Uefa.

    They will arrive in special charter flights from Milan and Rome after the greenlight was given by authorities – providing Covid protocols are strictly followed.

    As an amber country, anyone arriving from Italy has to quarantine for ten days – or take a test to release after five – meaning the majority of Italians at Wembley on Sunday will be ex-pats.

    There are around 600,000 Italians living in the UK with around 150,000 in London alone and a mad dash for tickets has already begun.

    Those arriving from Italy for the final had to register their interest by midnight last night with the package costing €650 plus ticket.

    They will have to show a negative Covid test on departure from Italy and they will be driven to a hotel where they will stay until they are transferred to the ground.

  • Kealan Hughes

    OUR HEROES

    England stars have pledged to donate their Euro bonuses to NHS charities if they win the final against Italy on Sunday.

    Gareth Southgate’s men, who secured their place in the historic match after beating Denmark 2-1 on Wednesday, already plan to distribute their total of £9.5million to worthwhile causes.

    Currently, it is estimated that the Football Association would bag around £24 million if England secured a historic victory on Sunday.

    Around 40 per cent of that sum goes to the 26 players in the squad and reports suggest that they have already held talks about a donation that would see the NHS receive a massive windfall.

    Last May, the players confirmed they would donate match fees to charity.

  • Kealan Hughes

    FAN OUT

    A DIGITAL content producer was sacked after her bosses spotted her celebrating Harry Kane’s winning extra time Euro 2020 goal on TV.

    Nina Farooqi found herself in hot water after cameras caught her and her friend jumping and screaming after the ball hit the back of the net.

    But she was brought back down to earth with a bump when her boss called her the morning after to fire her for going to the historic game.

    Nina, from Ilkley, Bradford, had pulled a sickie to go to the game with her pal who had won a last minute ticket in a ballot.

    Speaking to The Telegraph, Nina said: "It’s mixed emotions: we’re through to the final, I’m still on that high, but I’ve also lost my job.

    "My friend won the ticket in her work ballot, and knew I'd do anything to get to the game – there was no way I was going to turn it down.

    "This hasn’t come around since 1996, I vividly remember crying on my mum's sofa when Gareth Southgate missed his penalty, and the football fan in me just couldn’t do it. Football is my life."

  • Justin Lawrence

    England boss Gareth Southgate is worried that having a day less recovery than Italy ahead of Sunday's epic Euro 2020 final could prove costly.

    The Three Lions semi final match against Denmark was last night while the Italians defeated Spain on Tuesday.

    And Southgate reckons this could give the Italians a slight advantage.

    He said: "It is definitely a bit of a disadvantage but we have to find the best way of dealing with that.

    "I think the biggest thing is psychological fatigue."

    Southgate thinks England having less time to prepare for the Euro final could give the Italians an advantageCredit: AFP

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