Italy’s Euro 2020 Win Brings Joy to Covid-Ravaged Nation

Italy’s national team beat England in the final of the European Championship 2020 soccer tournament, and fans took to Rome and other Italian cities’ streets to celebrate.

The country’s victory and the fans’ response seemed to symbolize renewal and hope after adversity for the passionate team representing the  beleaguered nation.

The team lifted Italian’s spirits in an extraordinary change after a year dominated by a brutal pandemic that caused countless lockdowns and incalculable suffering.

It won the  European Championship for the first time since 1968 after Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two England penalties for a 3-2 win on a penalty shoot-out.

The teams fought a 1-1 draw in extra time at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, but neither could turn the score in their favor.

The Italian goalkeeper, also named the most valuable player (MVP), saved penalties from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after Marcus Rashford hit a post.

The first screams of Sunday night came after Leonardo Bonucci’s tying goal in the match’s second half.

Later, Donnarumma’s two saves in the penalty shoot-out spread people’s cheers along the Sicilian coasts, Roman balconies, and Florentine streets.

Italians’ inarticulate screams translated into expressions of relief, life, and calm returning in an era that seems to be “normal.”

But the country revved up long before the tournament started.

Waiters and waitresses painted their faces in Italian colors to serve copious beers to fans early in the evening.

Meanwhile, the open-air cinema in the Trastevere section of Rome interrupted its regular programming to broadcast the game, with a considerably high turnout.

Thousands of people crammed the square as they couldn’t do so during 2020 and part of 2021.

Hundreds of thousands of more fans flooded into other national, big squares, and Italian families stocked up on horns and flags to celebrate their greatest triumph in a long time.

Italy claimed the European Championship title undefeated after winning all 33 previous matches and marking the national team’s rebirth.

In 2018, the boot-shaped country missed the World Cup after failing to score a goal against Sweden on November 13, 2017.

But this year, Italy’s soccer team has shown the country and the rest of the world that they could bounce back and dust themselves off.

“The national team is a symbol of a country that in difficult moments has always known how to get up again,” the team’s coach Roberto Mancini said before the match started.

Italy needed soccer and a national victory to appease the social and economic despair that the devastating pandemic left behind.