In what was for sure one of the greatest title matches in Euro history you had England who hasn’t won a major title since 1968 and Italy who hadn’t won a major title since the 2006 World Cup.  Italy who had been talked about the entire tournament as the team to beat came into this match as “underdogs” because all week leading into the match all the talk was the trophy was coming “home” to England.

The way the game started out sure seemed like it was going to be as England managed to score first in the first 2 minutes of the match. You can see that the Italians looked lost without their star of the tournament thus far Leonardo Spinazzola who was lost in the match against Belgium with an ACL tear. For some reason Garreth Southgate decided that a 1-0 lead was good enough to “park the bus” and Italy kept coming at them.  Chance after chance and then finally in the 67th minute Leonardo Bonucci hit the back of the net and brought Italy level. I don’t know about you but at that moment you can feel the moment just switch sides even though the match was level you just felt like Italy was going to find a way to win the match.


90 minutes could not settle the match so they went to Extra Time an additional 30 minutes did not help so there we were looking at Penalties to decide the European Champions. There had been research done that the team who went first in Penalty Kicks won 60% of the time. Well, Italy won the toss and went first. This is where I believe Donnarumma took the torch and put the nation of Italy on his back.  He stopped 3 out of the 5 kicks including the last 2 shots.  Gianluigi Buffon long thought of as the best goaltender in Italian history has been retired from the National team since November of 2017 and it appears that the Azzuri have found their replacement.  Donnarumma has an incredible 33 game unbeaten streak currently with Italy and set a new best for Italian football at 1168 minutes without conceding a goal.

So if you ask me not only has the torch been passed but it is now being brightly displayed for all of Italy as Donnarumma who won Player of the Tournament for the Euro 2020 is now ready to lead Italy back to the World Cup and once again back to the top as his predecessor did in 2006.  Donnarumma is very young but not inexperienced as this tournament had tested him and he is ready for Italy to lead them into Qatar 2022 and take home the cup.

 

 

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