ISTANBUL: England and Italy are set to face off on Sunday to be crowned the best in European football at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium.
Italy are looking forward to win their first European title after 53 years when they beat Yugoslavia (1-1 and 2-0) in the EURO 1968 final, Anadolu Agency reported.
They then lost two finals in European Championships, a 2-1 loss to France in EURO 2000 and a 4-0 defeat to Spain in EURO 2012.
The Azzurri’s defeat to Spain in EURO 2012 final is the biggest margin of defeat in a European Championship final.
With four final matches at the European Championships, they are now tied with Spain and the Soviet Union for second place behind Germany, which appeared in six finals.
Roberto Mancini’s side topped Group A by beating Turkey and Switzerland 3-0, and sealing a 1-0 victory against Wales.
Following the group stage, they beat Austria in the last 16 and Belgium 2-1 in the quarterfinals, moving to the final after defeating Spain on penalties in the semi-finals.
They conceded three goals, while Ciro Immobile, Federico Chiesa, Manuel Locatelli, Lorenzo Insigne and Matteo Pessina scored two goals each.
According to Anadolu Agency, the historic EURO 2020 game with 60,000 spectators will be the Three Lions’ first-ever final in the European Championship, and their first final appearance in a major tournament since claiming the 1966 World Cup title.
England won only two of their last 14 games against Italy in all competitions, 2-0 in June 1997 and 2-1 in August 2013 – both friendly matches.
However, in the 1977 World Cup qualification, the English team won against Italy 2-0 – the only victory in eight competitive games during the tournament.
They are unbeaten in their last 12 matches in all competitions, keeping 10 clean sheets and conceding just two goals.
Collecting seven points, England won Group D in the EURO 2020 ahead of Croatia, Czech Republic, and Scotland.
The Three Lions reached the final, eliminating Germany, Ukraine, and Denmark, respectively, conceding just one goal following the conclusion of the group stage.
Only three nations have ever lifted the Euros title on home ground — Spain (1964), Italy (1968), and France (1984).
Portugal (2004) and France (2016) made it to the final, but lost.
The match will be officiated by Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers.
The 48-year-old was also the referee in the 2014 World Cup’s group stage match when England suffered a 2-1 defeat to Italy. – Bernama