The misery of England’s penalty shootout loss in the Euro 2020 final dominates the front pages after the players repeated history at Wembley.
There is no more poignant analogy than manager Gareth Southgate consoling his players at the same stadium 25 years after his error took England out of Euro 96, and the image appears on many of the fronts.
“The ultimate anguish,” according to the Telegraph.
At the top of a big, poster-style front page showing Southgate with his arms around Bukayo Saka, the headline reads: “Penalty heartbreak again.”
Under the heading “It all ends in tears,” The Mail used a very similar image.
Inside, the paper promises a 24-page special pullout edition, albeit that may only be for fans with a strong constitution this morning.
After Luke Shaw’s magnificent opening goal, Wembley was “literally bouncing,” writes Oliver Holt inside, but England was finally undone by the “ghosts of the past,” who also raised their ugly head in turbulent crowd scenes before the match.
The Guardians’ main page also has a photo of Gareth Southgate and Saka, as well as the headline “So near.”
Despite the heartbreaking loss, chief sports reporter Barney Ronay takes some solace in the fact that the athletes “lit up the summer” with their journey to the final in a tournament that “lifted everyone’s spirits.”
“After a year and a half of terror and isolation, football has, for the last few weeks, delivered a reminder that other things do exist, that there is also hope and warmth to be found, other stories to be written,” he writes. Guardian front page, Monday 12 July 2021: So near pic.twitter.com/l9dtS9bn26 — The Guardian (@guardian) July 11, 2021
yet we’re incredibly proud of you”
With the heading “Pride of lions,” the Sun encourages the people to be proud of the defeated players, noting that the World Cup is “just next year.”
The nation’s pride pic.twitter.com/pabuy3aoeH — The Sun (@TheSun) July 11, 2021 The Mirror and I both go with a basic “Heartbreak” as our theme.
“Penalty curse denies England their dream,” the Times caption reads, while a wraparound for the main edition features a photo of the sad England players and the headline “Arrivederci.”