Italy centre-back Leonardo Bonucci said that he relished watching Wembley empty after England lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties.
The Azzurri claimed their second European Championships title on Sunday after winning 3-2 in the shoot-out. The Three Lions got off to the perfect start to the match, Luke Shaw opening the scoring inside two minutes. However, Italy settled and began to dominate, Bonucci scoring the equaliser in the second half.
Neither side could find a winner and the match subsequently went to penalties. England started well, Harry Maguire giving Gareth Southgate’s men a 2-1 advantage.
However, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed.
Speaking to RAI Sport (via Goal), Bonucci insisted that he had a feeling his side would do well at the start of the tournament.
“A historic goal is a dream come true and the credit goes to the coach, the whole squad,” the 34-year-old said.
“When we got together in Sardinia, there was something different compared to the past. We slowly gained confidence, certainty, unity. This was the icing on the cake that makes us legends.
“It’s a unique feeling and we are relishing it. Seeing 65,000 people leave before the trophy was handed out is something to relish, now the cup is coming to Rome. They thought it was staying in London, sorry for them, but Italy once again taught a lesson.
“We said during the warm-up, what was happening in the stands was purely just background noise. We had 34 games unbeaten, all we needed to do was exactly what we’d done so far to get here, not one bit more, not one bit less.”
England boss Southgate insisted that his players should hold their heads high after reaching the final.
However, pundit Roy Keane took aim at two England players for not stepping up and taking penalties. Southgate had said, though, that he chose the order of takers in training.
Offering his reaction to Italy’s first European Championships title since 1968, manager Roberto Mancini hailed his side as “extraordinary”.
Mancini hails Italy performance
“It was impossible to even think about it, but the lads were extraordinary,” he said.
“I have no words for them, this is a wonderful group. It wasn’t an easy game and this one developed to become very difficult, but then we dominated it.
“On penalties you need to have a bit of luck and I’m also a bit sorry for the English.
“This team has grown a lot, I think we can still improve. We are happy for the Italians, I have no words for these guys.”
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