What the papers made of England’s Euro 2020 campaign

The front and back pages are filled with coverage of England’s Euro 2020 disappointment after the Three Lions were downed by Italy in a penalty shootout.

But the tone of the coverage is overwhelmingly positive, with reporters and commentators focusing on the success of Gareth Southgate’s side in reaching its first major final in 55 years.

The side swept into the knockout stages and brushed off Germany, Ukraine and Denmark to set up a final against Italy at Wembley.

There, they were denied by what the Guardian’s Barney Ronay called “another of those brutal little flick-books of joy and despair”, England going down 3-2.

He added: “This England iteration may or may not go on to further glories from here. But when something is good it’s never gone, and this fine young group of footballers made a mark here that will not be lost.

“After a year and half of fear and isolation football has, for the last few weeks, provided a reminder that other things also exist, that there is also hope and warmth to be found, other stories to be written.”

The Daily Mirror’s leader touched on the on-field qualities of the side, as well as what they do off the pitch.

Calling the squad “Southgate’s band of brothers”, the paper said the team “represent all that is best in our nation”.

“They are ambassadors for a brighter future, successful young men from mostly ordinary and occasionally challenged backgrounds who never forget the families and people they grew up with.

“The 1966 World Cup win was an achievement that marked an end to the hardships caused by war.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford fails to stop a penalty from Leonardo Bonucci
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford fails to stop a penalty from Leonardo Bonucci (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Let’s make this brush with glory a similar landmark moment, a time when Britain comes together to face its troubles as one instead of fighting amongst ourselves.”

Jim White in the Daily Telegraph also focuses on the side’s ability to unify, speaking of how fans from all ethnic backgrounds backed the side.

He added: “This really is the England team everyone has bought into. And what they have delivered has been a unifying moment on a scale rarely before experienced.

“Politics, tribal loyalties, class, race, even opinions about whether we should all carry on wearing masks in public places, all differences put aside as we agreed on this fundamental: this England team is worth the emotional investment.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

And The Times, under a header “A Team To Be Proud Of”, writes the players have “presented a version of modern Britain to make the country proud”.

The paper added: “What makes this team so special is not just what they have achieved on the field but the way they have conducted themselves off it.

“Many of these remarkable young men had already established reputations as role models through their charitable work and activism even before this tournament.

“Besides, their best days may be yet to come. In the past three years this squad have contested a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final. Who knows, perhaps at next year’s World Cup finals in Doha they will go one better. Football will come home.”