Euro 2020 final: 'After all the pain, forgive us the hope'

Could this really be England's year at Euro 2020?

Could this really be England's year at Euro 2020? - Credit: PA

England are in the final of a major tournament. This is not a drill – England are in the final of a major tournament. 

Harry Kane is scoring rebounds from awful penalties, Harry Maguire is head-repelling anything and everything, Bukayo Saka is at one with an inflatable unicorn.  

Aaron Ramsdale has one hand on the trophy.... OK I’m getting carried away now but forgive us some topless excitement, after all the false dawns.  

Tournament after tournament we’ve managed to convince ourselves that “this is our year”.  

Emile Heskey is the perfect foil, Matthew Upson will give us balance, Andy Carroll will offer us a plan B, the squad is the happiest it’s been now Hodgson has reinstated ketchup.  

Simply nothing can stop our inevitable rise to the top.  

Then the reality – penalty heartache, Kane taking corners, Andrea Pirlo ending Joe Hart’s career, 4-4-2.

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Now, though, it obviously feels different. We’ve got a team full of nice chaps, led by a lovely manager who seems intent on making us proud to be English.  

What could possibly stop us? We’ve got Jack Grealish on the bench, he can answer anyone’s prayers.  

So yes, after all the pain and dire displays of previous campaigns, let’s allow ourselves this moment to get completely carried away.  

Even if we do play Kieran Tripper as a no.10 to stop Italy playing through midfield.

Fans let of flares as they celebrate in Piccadilly Circus, central London after England qualified fo

England fans will be hoping for more street celebrations on Sunday - Credit: PA