The nation’s papers are brimming with pride as they celebrate England’s historic Euro 2020 victory over Denmark.
The Three Lions qualified for their first final in a major tournament since 1996 when Harry Kane slotted home a penalty rebound in extra time in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
The Times says the monumental victory was “55 years in the making” while wondering about the “delirium” that can be expected throughout the country if England manage to claim the silverware against Italy on Sunday.
The Daily Mail celebrates the effort of England’s captain, running with the headline “Kane you believe it”.
Inside the paper, columnist Robert Hardman speaks of the nervousness that supporters who were alive for England’s last final in 1966 felt throughout the thrilling contest.
He writes: “It was only when Harry Kane’s penalty somehow ended up in the back of the net in the 104th minute that we old-timers finally dared to contemplate the ‘F’ word.”
The Sun speaks for millions of jubilant Three Lions fans as it calls the thrill of victory “probably the best feeling in the world”.
The Telegraph dubs the victorious England squad “The history boys”, with journalist Jim White commending manager Gareth Southgate for their achievement.
He writes: “This is a manager who knows what he is doing. Southgate is a superb leader, one who understands intuitively how to motivate.
“He does it not by shouting, but by developing a sense of unity into which all his players invest.”
In The Guardian, reporter Jonathan Liew, who was at Wembley, writes about the feeling in the stands at the moment Kane’s game-winner found the back of the net.
Guardian front page, Thursday 8 July 2021 – England’s dreaming: now final awaits for first time since ’66 pic.twitter.com/E27g97iN8l— Guardian news (@guardiannews) July 7, 2021
He says: “Wembley was ablaze: men and women and children leaping and reeling and spilling beverages all over each other (and at Wembley prices you need to be pretty damn euphoric to do that).
“For this country’s long-suffering fans, there are still grimmer agonies ahead. But here, now, under dark skies and bright lights, England made us happy.”
Pride in defeat
There is also pride in defeat in the losing nation’s papers, with the Danish press paying respect to the team’s efforts in the tournament – especially in the wake of captain Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their first game against Finland.
The paper BT runs with the headline “Brutalt! I table, men vandt vores hjerter” – “Brutal! You lost, though you won our hearts”.
Meanwhile, Jyllands-Posten looks to the future, saying: “EM-festen er slut – nu kan VM-festen begynde” – “The European Championship party is over – now the World Cup party can begin”.