Soccer

Euro 2021 Recap

Wales fan looking on
Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Champions?

Euro 2021 has finally come and gone and the champions of Europe are Italy after a long battle against England that went all the way to penalties. Italy won on penalties 3-2 after 120 minutes of regulation left the score at 1-1. Luke Shaw got England off to a dream start and had fans thinking that it was coming home for the first time since 1966. England look like the better team in the first half and was hungry to get more. But in the second half, it was the other way around as center back Leonardo Bonucci equalized for the Italians in the 67th minute. It was end to end from there on, but after the game went into extra time each side had huge chances. But ultimately it went to penalties.

Penalties were a tense time for both fans but as each team took their spot-kick it grew tenser. England fans grew some hope after Andrea Belotti who came on in extra time missed his penalty. After that England took the lead but then missed their own penalty. But they missed three consecutive penalties as Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Bukayo Saka’s penalty to win the game.

Surprise team of the Tournament?

Denmark surprised everyone after they suffered one of the biggest scares of the tournament as their star player of the team Christian Eriksen collapsed on matchday 1 against Finland. And after match day 2, it looked like Denmark was on their way out of the group stage. But a big win against Russia ensured them that they would make it through via 3rd place. The spirit the team had was incredible and almost every fan in the world was behind them. It made certain players step up as in Kasper Dolberg, Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjær, Mikkel Damsgaard, and Yussuf Poulsen led the team towards an amazing campaign that sadly ended in a 2-1 loss in the semifinal against England after extra-time

Disappointments?

The teams that were very disappointing by not going further into the tournament were Germany, Portugal, Germany, and the Netherlands. Let’s start off with the group of death, Germany, Portugal, and France were all expected to make it through the group stage. France were the favorite to win the Euros with stars like Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, who were knocked out by Switzerland after drawing 3-3 and losing to them on penalties. Germany wasn’t expected to win the Euros but were expected to do somewhat well. They lost in the round of 16 to eventual finalists England 2-0.

And for Portugal were the previous holders of the the European Championship, with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Diogo Jota, Raphael Guerreiro, Renato Sanches, and Bernardo Silva. They were knocked out by Belgium who’s golden generation also lost to eventual champions Italy in which was their last chance of really winning anything with that team.

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