The curtain falls today on the mesmerising Euro 2020 football at the Wembley Stadium when Italy and England do battle for the continental championship trophy.
Roberto Mancini’s side booked their place in the showpiece event after coming up trumps in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout against Spain, while England needed 120 minutes of their own to send Denmark packing 2-1 in the semi-finals.
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It has been 53 years since Italy got their hands on the trophy, while the Three Lions are playing in their first major tournament final for 55 years as Gareth Southgate endeavours to write his own chapter of history.
Today’s Euro 2020 final marks the 28th meeting between Italy and England in all competitions, with the Azzurri boasting 11 wins compared to eight for the Three Lions.
Italy knocked England out on penalties en route to the Euro 2012 final, and the Azzurri also prevailed in the only other European Championship meeting between the two sides – a 1-0 win during the group stage of Euro 1980.
However, the two nations have played out two 1-1 draws in friendlies since 2015, and victory for England at Wembley would also mark the first time in history that they have beaten Italy at a major tournament.
Italy’s jaw-dropping unbeaten run may make the headlines, but England can at least boast 11 wins and one draw from their last 12 games in all competitions, and 15 of the Three Lions’ last 17 encounters at Wembley Stadium have seen them march to victory.
As two heavyweight European forces prepare to collide in front of fans, former players and royalty, nations across the continent will undoubtedly smile back on a tournament like none other following a year like none other, and one can only hope that restrictions, quarantines and behind-closed-doors encounters will be distant memories by Qatar 2022.