Blog: ‘First Brexit, now this’ – the view from Europe on England reaching Euro 2020 final –

I admit that you, England, are playing the best football of the tournament; and that you, England, are going to win it. Am I saying this because Italians are too superstitious to write the opposite? Perhaps. See you at Wembley. 


‘People are saying England are a typical Italian side’

By Rob Fleur, Dutch football journalist

This isn’t like your usual English team and in Holland, people are saying they are more like a typical Italian side. They play for the result, they do what they have to do to win and it is built on a compact team, really strong in defence. When you don’t concede goals, you have an excellent chance of doing well in tournaments. It is funny because England are going to come up against a team that is just like them in the final.

We recognised that this is an excellent team and there is a lot of praise for the job that Gareth Southgate has done. We like him… but the team, I think previous English teams have been more popular here even though they were less successful. We like the traditional English style, always looking to attack.

There are also complaints that players like Grealish and Foden are not starting games. They would both be in the Holland team if they were Dutch. They are creative players, exciting to watch, but Southgate has other options and they are in the final so…

The player who has really caught the eye over here is Kalvin Phillips, perhaps because we did not know much about him before the tournament. There has been a lot of praise for him.

The other player is Grealish, we like him a lot. But we do not know why Jordan Henderson is not playing, he is very well known and very well liked here.


‘Everybody here will be supporting Italy on Sunday’

By Dani Gil, Spanish football journalist

In Spain, England have always been seen as the team who fail to deliver. At the big moments, they’ve always ‘fracasado’.

But this is different. On the streets of Spain, people are saying that Euro 2020 is now England’s to lose.

England are seen as a fearsome team, with the biggest, strongest and most versatile squad in Europe, but also a lucky one. They’ve played six of their seven games at Wembley, after all, which has created a fair amount of resentment towards them in Spain.

There are a few conspiracy theories doing the rounds. Some people here even think that Uefa have given England favourable treatment for helping break up the Super League. Untrue, of course, but Raheem Sterling’s dubious penalty did not help things on that front.

More people will be supporting Italy on Sunday, even if it was the Azurri who knocked out Spain in the semi-finals.


‘Germans now look to England with envy’

By Stefan Bienkowski, German football journalist

As most German fans sort through the rubble of their own team’s Euro 2020 campaign, a begrudging respect has been applied to Gareth Southgate’s England team.

Like their own pundits and ex-players, German fans thought a last-16 clash with England would have proved to be the perfect tonic after a gruelling group stage but the 2-0 defeat at Wembley ultimately underlined where both of these two nations are at the moment.

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