Euro 2020 final: England have right mentality required to win, says captain Kane

By Sports Desk July 10, 2021

Harry Kane has rejected the suggestion England are too nice ahead of the Euro 2020 final, with Gareth Southgate's squad ready to test their mettle once again after "knocking down barriers" to set up a showdown with Italy.

England will be aiming to win a first major international trophy since the 1966 World Cup, a 55-year-drought during which they have never made it beyond the last four at any tournament.

However, Kane's winner in extra time against Denmark on Wednesday secured a place in this year's European Championship showpiece – and they will have home advantage again when they face the Azzurri at Wembley Stadium.

Southgate and his players have ended the nation's long, at times painful wait to reach another final, but Kane made clear on the eve of the contest that being "humble and respectful" as a group does not suggest they lack the ruthless edge required to get the job done on Sunday.

Asked during his pre-match media duties if England are too nice, he replied: "No, I don't think so

"That's the personality of a lot of the players in the squad, they are humble and respectful, but we have a focus and determination to win, we've shown that in last tournament and this, knocking down barriers that have been there for a long time.

"In modern football there isn't so much mind games before, getting too hyped or out of control.

"We have a real vision of where we want to be and without that and our winning mentality we wouldn't be where we are now."

 

Southgate played for England when they lost in a Euros semi-final to Germany at the old Wembley back in 1996, when the song 'Three Lions' by English comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner became synonymous with the tournament.

The lyrics reference the failures to replicate the success enjoyed by Alf Ramsey's side over West Germany in 1966 and it has remained popular ever since, particularly when the national team are in action at a major event.

While Southgate has mixed emotions towards the song – it was his missed penalty that proved costly in the shoot-out against the Germans 25 years ago – he is delighted with the support his players have received this year.

"I didn't want to listen to it for 15 years because it was too painful for me," Southgate, who confirmed Phil Foden is a doubt to face Italy due to a knock, said to the media.

"You have to know the English to understand our humour and our humour is probably quite unique. It's certainly not arrogant, the lyrics are making fun of ourselves and what's gone wrong before.

"It's always appeared at tournaments, we have a couple of replacements that seem to have come through now, which is nice to move things forward.

"The atmosphere in the ground is great. When we started three four years ago, we had people throwing paper planes, they weren't behind the team and there was an apathy towards the team, but now the energy is fantastic.

"It's so important for the players, they need that warmth and it's definitely helped inspire us in this tournament."

Related items

  • Lookman etches name into Atalanta history after Europa League glory against Leverkusen Lookman etches name into Atalanta history after Europa League glory against Leverkusen

    Ademola Lookman will be the toast of Bergamo after his hat-trick inspired Atalanta to Europa League glory, ending Bayer Leverkusen's 51-game unbeaten run after a 3-0 defeat in Dublin.

    Nigeria winger Lookman is just the second player to score a treble for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition, after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup.

    His single-handed match-winning heroics secured Atalanta's first-ever major European trophy as they became the 10th different Italian side to do so, second only to teams from England (13).

    The records continued to tumble for Lookman, whose hat-trick was the sixth in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

    Having no response to a performance for the ages, Leverkusen suffered their first defeat since their final game of the 2022-23 season, ending a 361-day unbeaten run from last losing 3-0 to Bochum.

    Gian Piero Gasperini's masterclass will etch his name into Atalanta history, with the Italian – aged 66 years and 117 days on Wednesday – the fourth oldest manager to win a major European trophy.

    Only Raymond Goethals (71y 231d, 1993 Champions League), Heynckes (68y 16d, 2013 Champions League) and Alex Ferguson (66y 142d, 2008 Champions League), have done so at an older age.

    Owing to Gasperini's genius and Lookman's quality, Atalanta are the first Italian side to lift the Europa League trophy since its rebrand in 2009, with Parma in 1999 the last Serie A side to win the UEFA Cup.

    Alonso will hope to bounce back in Saturday's DFB-Pokal final but the Bundesliga champions are the first team to win the league title but lose the UEFA Cup/Europa League final in the same season since Benfica in 2013-14, and the first German side to do since Borussia Dortmund in 2001-02.

  • Birthday boy Djokovic eases into Geneva Open quarter-final with Hanfmann triumph Birthday boy Djokovic eases into Geneva Open quarter-final with Hanfmann triumph

    Novak Djokovic celebrated his 37th birthday by breezing into the Geneva Open quarter-finals after his comfortable straight-sets victory against Yannick Hanfmann.

    The world number one made light work of Hanfmann, who defeated Andy Murray the day before, after a 6-3 6-3 victory in Switzerland on Wednesday.

    Serbia's Djokovic saved nine of the 10 break points faced and won six straight games in the second set for a routine victory, responding emphatically after going 3-0 down.

    The winner of a last-16 meeting between Denis Shapovalov and Tallon Griekspoor awaits in the last eight for Djokovic, who triumphed with little trouble on his 37th birthday.

    Data Debrief: Age will not stop Djokovic

    Having watched rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal struggle for fitness in the latter stages of their career, Djokovic is showing no signs of slowing down before the French Open starts later this month.

    Djokovic will be aiming to become the second player in the Open Era to secure a Grand Slam Singles title after turning 37, along with Ken Rosewall at the Australian Open 1972.

  • Headingley washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation Headingley washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation

    England and Pakistan were denied valuable T20 World Cup preparation after the first game of their limited-overs series was abandoned due to rain at Headingley on Wednesday.

    The umpires took little time to call off the first of a four-match T20I series as the decision was made without a ball being bowled at the ground in Leeds.

    England will have to wait to assess the fitness of the returning Jofra Archer, with Pakistan also having no chance to evaluate their players as the only side to still not announce their World Cup squad yet.

    Edgbaston will play host to the next meeting on Saturday, with clashes at Cardiff and The Oval to follow before the pair head off to the United States for the T20I tournament in June.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.