David Baddiel has said England reaching the Euro 2020 final means football has “already come home”.
The comedian, who co-wrote Three Lions with Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds, said the team’s success during the tournament was made more poignant by “the relief of the Covid experience”.
Wednesday night saw Gareth Southgate’s team secure victory over Denmark after striker Harry Kane scored in extra-time to make it 2-1 at Wembley.
Baddiel, who was in the crowd with Skinner and their sons, told Today on BBC Radio 4: “I think really what it is telling us is that it has been difficult.
“It has been really difficult for a lot of people at the moment and I think the fact England have managed to do this, the relief of all that time is also the relief of the Covid experience and the fact we can have a bit of joy and a bit of celebration.”
Speaking about the final against Italy on Sunday, he added: “It is important. No-one wants to lose a final but I would agree with you.
“People are saying to me, ‘Has it come home? Is it coming home?’ Obviously, that happens to me a lot.
“And a tiny part of me wants to say, ‘Well, it has already come home. It has already to some extent just by being in the final’.”
Baddiel said England’s victory completed a “redemption arc” from the Euro 1996 tournament, where England were knocked out in the semi-finals by Germany.
He said: “Sitting next to Frank, we were there with the whole redemption arc since 1996 and in fact there has been a moment in that redemption because obviously in that semi-final we didn’t get through and now we have.
“We were sitting there with our sons though so the passing of time was part of the experience.”
On Thursday morning, football anthems dominated the charts following England’s victory.
Three Lions, written and recorded for Euro 96, was at number two on the iTunes songs charts, behind Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran.
Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline was at number three, while Atomic Kitten’s revamped version of their 2001 single Whole Again, titled Southgate You’re The One (Football’s Coming Home Again), was at number four.
At number six was 1998 song Vindaloo, co-written by Blur bassist Alex James, comedian Keith Allen and bassist Guy Pratt under the moniker Fat Les.
On the iTunes albums chart, the Footie Anthems compilation album was at number one, while Diamond’s greatest hits rose to number four and NOW That’s What I Call Footie!, another compilation of football songs, sat at number six.
The accompanying video for Three Lions also rose to the top of the iTunes music videos chart.