Heroes' welcome for Italy as Roberto Mancini's Euro champions return home - in pictures

Fans rejoice after Roberto Mancini's team crush England's hopes in Wembley final

Italy's European champions received a rousing reception as they landed in Rome after their win over England in the Euro 2020 final.

Captain Giorgio Chiellini and manager Roberto Mancini held aloft the trophy upon arrival in front of joyful fans on Monday, a day after beating England in a tense penalty shootout at Wembley.

Italian supporters continued their celebrations into Monday after spending the better part of the night flooding the streets and setting off fireworks. It was the second time Italy have been crowned European champions and it came after the embarrassment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Emotions were high after Mancini's team recovered after conceding the quickest goal ever in a European championship final to equalise and held their nerve to claim a 3-2 shootout victory after a 1-1 draw following extra-time.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved spot-kicks from Andrea Belotti and Jorginho but Marcus Rashford hit the post and Gianluigi Donnarumma kept out Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka to clinch the title.

It was a particularly significant moment for the Italians after what has been a painful period in their history, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting the country harder than most.

Many Italians saw the European title as a timely boost for a country that spent much of the past 16 months in various stages of lockdown. Italy was the first country outside Asia to get heavily hit by the pandemic and suffered immensely, particularly in the spring of 2020 when hospitals in northern Italy were overwhelmed with patients and the death toll soared.

Italy has recorded more than 127,000 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in the European Union.

Manager Mancini understood the significance of the win, stating: "The lads were wonderful, I don't know what more to say. It's important for all the people and all the fans.

"We did well. We conceded a goal straight away and struggled, but then we dominated the game,."

Updated: July 12th 2021, 12:39 PM
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