Roberto Mancini said his tears were for the whole of Italy after winning Euro 2020 in a dramatic penalty shooutout. Victory over England brought Italy their first European Championship title since 1968 and the manager was overcome at the end.
“We don’t even realise what we have managed to achieve,” said Mancini, who took over in 2018 after Italy had failed to qualify for the World Cup. “We are delighted for people and the Italian public because they really deserve this after what has been a trying period. This is great joy for us.
“I cried on this ground 30 years ago after the 1992 European Cup final [when Sampdoria lost to Barcelona]. That really hurt back then. Winning the European Championship for the first time since 1968 and bringing home the trophy I do think it is something incredible.
“It [crying] was the emotion which happens after achieving something incredible. It was the emotion of seeing the guys celebrate and the fans in the stands. Seeing everything we have managed to create, all of the hard work we have put in over the last three years but specifically the last 50 days which have been very hard.
“It’s the fact we have been able to forge this team spirit over the last 50 days – they have really created something which can never be separated going forward. They will always be synonymous with this triumph.”
Luke Shaw had put England ahead after only one minute and 57 seconds but Italy, who lost to Spain in the 2012 final, slowly got to grips with the game.
Mancini said: “I’m very happy because the team played well and we deserved the victory. The goal did cause us a few issues in the first 15 minutes but then we started to take control of the game. We were disappointed we had to dig in and go all the way to penalties but we are very happy for Italians everywhere.”
Italy’s goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, saved from Jadon Sancho and, decisively, Bukayo Saka to win the shootout. “We are very fortunate to have Donnarumma,” Mancini said. “I was sure he was going to save a couple of penalties because he is the best goalkeeper in the world. He really is a wonderful guy and incredible goalkeeper.”