Europeans, the English spirit and that defeat that almost has the flavor of a victory –

a bitter defeat but which almost tastes like victory, that of the English: because tears are mixed with pride for a team that has been able to capture the imagination of an entire nation and have raised its spirits in the darkest hour.

Italy-England, the report cards: decisive Donnarumma, Cathedral Church, Chiellini Braveheart and Bonucci divino
Donnarumma: 9

Not the time to point the finger at anyone, the former national ace warned, Gary Lineker, who commented on the match for the Bbc. E coach Gareth Southgate he took full responsibility for the result: I chose the guys who took the penalties – he claimed – nobody alone in that situation. And his image embracing Bukayo Saka, the 19-year-old who missed the last shot, has already become a symbol: It wasn’t him, or Marcus o Jardon, that is, the others who have failed. But on social media the professional haters they made their voices heard: and a torrent of racist slurs at the address of the black players who caused the defeat. This team deserves to be praised as heroes – they reacted on Twitter this morning Boris Johnson – not being racially abused on social media. Those responsible for these appalling abuses they should be ashamed of themselves.

Because the English team represents the very opposite of hatred and division: one multi-ethnic team which in recent weeks has united a country which had been divided by Brexit – beyond differences of class, race or creed. Humble footballers, for whom the collective comes before individual performances, capable of inspiring an entire nation and reviving it after the terrible trials inflicted by the pandemic: England in recent weeks has been like transfigured, found a sense of being together that had already emerged in the darkest months of the fight against Covid, when the country went out on the doorstep in the evening to applaud the heroes of the national health service.

And therefore there were s tears and sadness among the fans, but also the awareness of go out with your head held high: because the British are historically the most capable of transforming defeat into victory, from the charge of the light cavalry in Balaclava to the battle of Rorke’s Drift against the Zulus. And then our gaze is already turned to tomorrow, to that World Cup to be held next year in Qatar and that the Lions have every intention of winning. This morning in London, as happens in these cases, there were those who quoted Winston Churchill: This is not the end. Not even the beginning of the end. But perhaps the end of the beginning.

July 12, 2021 (change July 12, 2021 | 09:37)



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