After a fascinating tournament and having been postponed in 2020, the Euro 2021 Final between England and Italy is fast approaching. Both teams have undergone a revival in the past four years. However, one of those teams intriguingly credits a part of their success to the NFL. Let’s take a look at which team’s turnaround was inspired by the NFL, what time you can catch the game, what channel it is on, and who are the past winners.
What channel is the Euro 2020/2021 Final on?
- TV Channel: ESPN and ESPN+
Who is announcing the Euro 2020/2021 Final?
- Game Announcers: Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman
- Hosts: Rece Davis and Kelly Cates
- Analysts: Alessandro Del Piero and Steve McManaman
- Pitchside: Sam Borden
When is Euro 2020/2021 Final?
- Day: July 11, 2021
- Time: 3 PM ET (pregame coverage begins at 2 PM ET)
Where is the Euro 2020/2021 Final?
- Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
How did the two teams get here?
Generally viewed as two of the powerhouses in European soccer, both England and Italy have had their struggles in recent years. Let’s start with the “home team,” whose manager spoke about how part of their turnaround is credited to lessons learned from the NFL.
Can England win for the first time since 1966?
The England soccer team has not tasted success at a major tournament since 1966. In fact, this is the first time since then that they have been in a final, having lost in three semifinals since 1990. England experienced a particular low at Euro 2016 when Iceland eliminated them in the Round of 16. Yet, that prompted a change in the manager after a scandal with their first hire, leading them to Gareth Southgate. Southgate is the man behind their run to the Euro 2020/2021 Final.
After England made the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Southgate discussed the turnaround. As a guest for Sky Sports at the Super Bowl, Southgate credited the NFL with helping England’s success. Southgate spoke about the “coaching techniques, the work of specialist coaches in particular,” and elements such as how NFL teams interact with the media. Furthermore, Southgate mentioned how his team’s set plays could benefit from the same level of detail that the NFL puts into everything.
While it is more than just the NFL that has led Southgate and his side to this point, it demonstrates how managers and coaches can learn lessons from other sports, which can translate into their own game. Another area Southgate discussed was NFL team meetings. NFL teams can spend hours in meetings ironing out details, while soccer teams’ meetings are significantly shorter.
England’s route to the final has seen them beat Croatia (1-0), Czech Republic (1-0), Germany (2-0), Ukraine (4-0), and Denmark (2-1 A.E.T.). They also drew 0-0 with Scotland.
Italy has gone from embarrassment in 2018 to the Euro 2020/2021 Final
For a team of the pedigree of England and Italy, not making a Euros or World Cup tournament is the ultimate embarrassment. That is exactly what happened to Italy in 2018, as they missed the World Cup in Russia. That failure led to then-manager Gian Piero Ventura being dismissed from the role. In May 2018, Italy hired Roberto Mancini to lead the national team.
Italy would lose two of their first five matches under Mancini. However, following their 1-0 loss to Portugal in September 2018, the Italian team has not lost another contest. They have not lost in 33 straight games since then, setting a new record. Their results in that time have seen them win 27 games, drawing six. They won all 12 games they played in 2019 and won every game in 2021 before their 1-1 draw against Spain in the semifinal of the Euro 2020/2021 tournament.
Italy’s route to the final: Turkey (3-0), Switzerland (3-0), Wales (1-0), Austria (2-1 A.E.T.), Belgium (2-1), and Spain on penalties following the 1-1 draw. Italy has won the Euros once and finished runner-up twice (2000 and 2012).
UEFA European Championship past winners
Ahead of the Euro 2020/2021 Final, here is the list of every team to win the UEFA European Championship dating back to the start of the tournament in 1960.
- 1960: Soviet Union
- 1964: Spain
- 1968: Italy
- 1972: West Germany
- 1976: Czechoslovakia
- 1980: West Germany
- 1984: France
- 1988: Netherlands
- 1992: Denmark
- 1996: Germany
- 2000: France
- 2004: Greece
- 2008: Spain
- 2012: Spain
- 2016: Portugal
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