AT EURO 2020, four nations are left to fight for the title this week. Italy play Spain in the first semi-final on Tuesday, July 6, and England take on Denmark on Wednesday, July 7, with the finals to be played on July 11.
Each of these four teams have their own incredible story to tell on the road to Wembley where the finals will be held.
Sadly, Portugal, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France have their sorrowful tales to tell too as their respective quests for Europe supremo come to a stop.
Semi finalist Spain has so far had a scruffy campaign as evidenced by their 5-3 win over Croatia after going into extra time in the knock out stage and then scrapping through with a 3-1 win on penalty over Switzerland after a 1-1 deadlock in the quarter finals.
Italy, on the other hand, had remained consistent topping their group with maximum points and then moving on to beat Austria 2-1 after extra time and knocking off powerhouse Belgium 2-1 in the quarter finals.
Denmark, always a delightful team to watch, has not been too impressive in this tournament with a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in the quarter finals after scrapping through on a borderline qualification in their group.
What can I say about England? They have been rewriting their football annals in this tournament comparing Euro 2020 to their successful World Cup campaign in 1966 when they beat Germany 4-2 in the finals and that’s 55 years ago.
This time with, less tension but still full of purpose, they disposed of Germany 2-0 in the knock out stage and days later blanked Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter finals played in Rome. Their manager, Gareth Southgate is already up in the pedestal with the British media likening him to the legendary, Sir Alf Ramsey of the 1966 World Cup fame.
This time around, as I am more analytically inclined than as a youngster in 1966, I am of the opinion that Gareth has in his war chest, player resources that could compose of two A teams. He has cautiously plotted England’s successful streak with four wins and one draw and a defense that has not yielded a single goal for 11 hours of play in this tournament.
Every single player Gareth has fielded have not let him and the entire nation down. Few slow in warming up and hitting form, but still producing their best football in the end. What a delight to watch as the starting eleven and the subs coming in to produce a new English brand of football.
With the semi final and final to be played on home ground, Wembley and with a maximum of 60,000 fans (due to COVID19 restrictions) cheering them on, they may be favorites to advance to the finals.
It’s Coming Home! as their fans will chant.