Italy’s Euro 2020 victory was more than just about football – it was a dream come true after a nightmare year.
The Italians were among the first to suffer the huge, deadly impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and their fans poured into streets and squares in massive numbers on Sunday night to celebrate a success widely seen as a rebound from the heartbreak failure of not qualifying for the last World Cup.
And the Italian press rejoiced in a famous victory, with one paper boasting that their team were “stronger than the good wishes sent by Queen Elizabeth”, after Her Majesty sent the England team a letter of encouragement before the final.
How Italy reacted
“Too beautiful. Italy champions of Europe,” declared the front page of La Gazzetta dello Sport, one of Italy’s foremost sports newspapers.
Italians praised coach Mancini for leading the country out of the depths of disappointment when they missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and for guiding them to their first Euro title since 1968.
Mancini has quickly restored the reputation of the Azzurri, who have won four World Cups but humiliatingly failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
A clearly proud and delighted Corriere dello Sport sent a special message on Twitter to the Italian team: “Non tutte le stelle vengono dal cielo. Grazie Azzurri! (Not all stars come from the sky. Thank you Azzurri).”