Is it coming home?
England face Italy in the final of the European Championships on Sunday as they approach what could be a first international trophy since the World Cup title in 1966.
The final is to be played in London at Wembley and will see up to 60,000 supporters present for the game with many of course supporting the Three Lions. Upwards of 30 million could watch the game on television in England, likely to be a broadcasting record.
The fanfare around the spectacle of England reaching their first final has been a nostalgic and emotional rollercoaster.
The game against Denmark in the semi-finals brought with it immense pressure and nerves as it took extra time to overcome a stubborn Danish defence.
The opposition on Sunday will be of a completely different standard and to a much higher calibre.
Italy are on a unbelievable unbeaten run of 33 games. It nearly came to an end in the semi-final as they needed penalties to edge past Spain after a timid and restrained performance.
England will need all their big stars to turn up on Sunday and manager Gareth Southgate has some huge decisions to make.
Three Lions disallowed
Surrounding the euphoria of the England supporters throughout the summer tournament has been the association with the song ‘Three Lions.’ Better known for it’s main line “It’s coming home.”
A tagline which has become associated with every major tournament since its birth in 1966. But none more so than during this and the 2018 World Cup where England reached the semi-finals.
Frank Skinner, one of the song’s producers and singers, appeared on Channel 4’s The Last Leg in which he revealed that UEFA denied the possibility of a live performance.
He did however reference the sanctioning of Andrea Bocelli’s Nessun Dorma being sung before Italy’s clash with Turkey in the opening fixture in Rome.
“There was a suggestion that we sang (Three Lions) on the pitch before the final on Sunday and UEFA said it was too partisan and not fair to the Italians to have that,” said Skinner.
“In the opening game, which was Italy versus Turkey, Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dorma before the game.”
England however should need no further encouragement or support to give it their absolute all and try to ensure that football does indeed come home.