It seemed England had the potential to finally bring football home after a goal just two minutes into the match.
But the Blues held fast and scored to equalise in the second half, eventually claiming victory in the penalty shoot-out by 3-2.
Following England fans’ pre-match gloating, the Italian postal service responded on Twitter that football would not be coming to the “home” the English expected.
— Poste Italiane (@PosteNews) July 11, 2021
“It’s Coming Rome” quickly became a slogan across social media. Italy fans even turned their captain Giorgio Chiellini’s calculated last-minute foul on England midfielder Bukayo Saka into a work of art.
— 𝑃𝑎𝑧𝑧𝑒𝑠𝑘𝑎🇮🇹 (@PAZZESK4) July 12, 2021
And in a dig at England on a topic that’s dear to Italians’ hearts, Italy’s vice captain Leonardo Bonucci proclaimed that the English need to eat more pasta.
The player could be heard shouting after the team won: “You have to eat more pasta. You still have to eat it.”
— italians mad at food (@ItalianComments) July 11, 2021
Later on Bonucci was a little more sincere in his comments, saying in a post-match interview: “To make people happy is the most beautiful thing that can exist, and we have done it.
“I’m sorry for the English, but tonight the cup is flying back with us.”
Although they played away in Wembley, Italy had the support of some dedicated national supporters in the crowd – including President Sergio Mattarella, who watched the boys claim a rain-soaked victory.
— Quirinale (@Quirinale) July 11, 2021
Many Italian fans couldn’t understand why England supporters would bang on about bringing football home in the first place.
This fan tweeted about the absurdity of assuming a win when England has never claimed the Euro trophy in its players’ lifetimes.
— › 🂱 MD’A (@dipartitaa) July 7, 2021
You wouldn’t catch Italy jinxing themselves like that. In fact the team is famously superstitious when it comes to pre-match traditions.
Before Italy's 1st Euro victory vs Turkey, the team bus briefly left assistant coach Gianluca Vialli behind by mistake before the driver stopped to let him board. Since then, for good luck, before every game Vialli is left off the bus, which leaves, then stops to let him board
— Tom Kington (@tomkington) July 11, 2021
— e ☽ è in sessione (@celestialele) July 10, 2021
Who can say whether Italians are on to something with their rituals per scaramanzia – to ward off bad luck.
But they got the result they aimed for, taking home not only a trophy but also a rather fetching crown for captain Chiellini.
— RTL 102.5 (@rtl1025) July 12, 2021
But no matter how high they climb, these boys will always want their mum. Here’s winger Federico Chiesa asking Siri to call his mamma after the win.
— Andrea Conti (@IlContiAndrea) July 12, 2021
And of course the first person that defender Alessandro Florenzi wanted to show off to was his mother.
He mouthed “Look mum… look here!” as he held up his medal for the camera, later repeating the catchphrase with the cup itself.
— 🎭DeepEnd (@TheUkYana) July 12, 2021
As the Blues made their way home on Monday, they couldn’t resist showing off their trophy at every opportunity.
The Euro cup, croissant and cappuccino for breakfast, anyone?
— Tecla🌘 (@TeclaP) July 12, 2021
Maybe Italians do, in fact, do it better. As England now looks towards the World Cup 2022, perhaps the team should start stocking up on pasta, accept defeat just in case – and remember to call their mum.