Look away now, England fans, because legendary Italy center back Leonardo Bonucci has a very brief, but direct, message in response to your popular anthem, “It’s Coming Home”: It’s coming (to) Rome.
“We heard it day in, day out ever since Wednesday night, since the Denmark game, that the cup would be coming home to London,” Bonucci said after Italy topped England on penalty kicks in the EURO 2020 final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. “Sorry for them, but actually the cup will be taking a nice flight to Rome and that way Italians all over the world can savor this competition. It is for everyone; we said, from day one, it was for them and for us.”
Leonardo Bonucci 🇮🇹
🔊 IT'S COMING TO ROME!! pic.twitter.com/8vwyVcN6Fw
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 11, 2021
Of course, “It’s Coming Home” isn’t England fans calling their shot or bragging about their
many singular successes as a nation, so much as it’s an admission of (reluctant) hope for a group of people who have been through the ringer of major international tournaments more times than they can count. Alas, nuance is often lost in the heat of sporting competition, and Italy shall have the last word this time.
Bonucci sees Italy winning EURO 2020 (their second European title and first since 1968) as “a renaissance for Italian football” just four years after he and a handful of other newly crowned kings of Europe failed to even qualify for the 2018 World Cup — quotes from the Guardian:
“You need to want it more than anything else. This is a renaissance for Italian football, and I am sure this squad and this great coach will make plenty of headlines going forward.
“We believed right from day one when we all joined up, there was different feeling in the air and it has come to pass. We never got tired of being together or spending time together, we had this burning desire to stay together and it is incredible.”
If this triumph is truly a renaissance of Italian football, then what does that make Roberto Mancini, the man who took on the unenviable task of righting so many wrongs within the federation and ultimately guided the Azzurri back to the footballing mountaintop?
Feel free to take time answering that, just as Mancini and the rest of the Italy squad will now take their time to let the magnitude of their achievement soak in and find the proper perspective.
“We don’t even realize what we have managed to achieve. 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. 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.”