“Finally”: English media hail Southgate’s “historic” team
England ended a 55-year wait to reach a major final after defeating Denmark at Euro 2020 and the result dominated the front and back pages of the country’s newspapers on Thursday, most of them tackling a theme similar to that of the Daily Mirror: “Finally”.
England beat the Danes 2-1 in overtime to reach a first final since winning the World Cup in 1966, prompting the Daily Star to ask its front page: ‘Is this the most big dream of all time? , While the Independent led with, “The History Makers.”
“England are in the final – a final! – and these are the strangest, rarest and most beautiful words to write, read or even imagine, ”Henry Winter wrote in The Times.
“For the first time since July 30, 1966, England will engage in a duel for a major honor. A final ! Can 55 years of suffering really be about to end? “
There has been a lot of praise for manager Gareth Southgate, who carried the pain of his failure on penalties in the Euro 96 semi-finals and was often criticized for his tactics.
“(He has) the courage to be unpopular, to be the scapegoat when something goes wrong,” Martin Samuel wrote in the Daily Mail.
“England won. England are in the final. The end justified the means.
“Every decision here can be defended on this simple result. It’s football and, well, England is actually pretty good at it. Pinch yourself and believe, because that’s what this team and their manager deserve.
There was also applause for England captain Harry Kane, who became his country’s top scorer in major tournaments, tying Gary Lineker on 10 goals, when he converted the winning penalty on the second attempt.
“Because of that, Kane was the player England needed him to be, a quietly assertive leader,” Barney Ronay wrote in The Guardian.
“It was a show of deep character to wake up from those early days when he seemed to reel around Wembley with a Chesterfield sofa strapped to his back.”
Matt Dickinson in The Times reflected on the euphoria at the final whistle and wondered what emotional outpouring could be triggered if England beat Italy in the final.
“A mighty roar roared around Wembley Stadium. It’s cascaded out of pubs and bars, and along streets across the country, ”he wrote.
“If it could be so wonderful once it stopped feeling so scary, imagine the delirium if England won Euro 2020 on Sunday.”