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Fans of the England men’s football team have had it a rough time of it over the last 50 years or so. England teams have gone through different phases in that time: The plucky underdogs who endured heartbreak, usually through a penalty shootout; the golden generation, who flattered to deceive and resembled a collection of individuals rather than a team; the teams that weren’t just good enough; the teams that were simply poor and poorly managed. 

Yet, for current England fans, there seems to be a new type of team to support; namely, a young collection of players that is growing into wonderful team organically under the hand of manager Gareth Southgate. Fans and the media have been got carried away before, of course, and it can almost be self-defeating to create targets in international football, but there is something particularly alluring about the prospect of the Euro 2020 Final next summer. 

London hosts first major tournament final since Euro 96

That Final will take place in London at Wembley Stadium on 12th July, and it will be the fist time in 24 years that a major international football final will take place in England. In fact, it will be a wonderful day for sport in England, as the Wimbledon Championships will conclude on the same day. Other events within driving distance of London during July include golf’s the Open Championship at Sandwich, Kent and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. 

While London would surely party is Andy Murray or someone like Johanna Konta made at the way to the Wimbledon Finals, it would arguably be the England football team who are capable of blowing the roof off the capital. Not since 1966 will there have been anything as momentous as this in the capital. Yes, the London 2012 Olympics was a special once-in-a-lifetime event, but it is a month-long celebration. This would be an event to bring London, and the rest of England, to a standstill for a few hours. 

England and France clear favourites 

Is all of this a bit too much conjecture? After all, England have not made it to a major final since 1966 and there are several games that must be played and won between now and July 12th. Yet, betting sites like 888 have put England at 9/2 to win the tournament, only marginally behind World Cup winners France at 4/1. The momentum with Gareth Southgate’s side seems to be such that you would not be surprised to see them outright favourites once the tournament kicks off in June 2020. 

But England have a huge advantage going into this tournament, which will be spread across a number of host countries; namely they will be given home advantage during the group games, semi finals and final. That home advantage will also be extended to big teams like Germany, Spain and Italy, but only in the group stage. Both semi finals will be played in London on the 7th and 8th July, and that’s where Gareth Southgate will be hoping for the locals to carry his side through to the Final.

It’s difficult to set out just what this type of event would signify for London. The city is, of course, accustomed to hosting the biggest events in the world in sports and every other part of the cultural spectrum. Just this summer Lord’s hosted the Cricket World Cup Final, with England walking away as the victors. But with all due respect to England’s cricket heroes, a major football triumph would truly get the nation of their seats. To do it at the home of football, Wembley Stadium, would get London rocking like we have rarely seen before. 

England and London Dreaming of Euro Glory Next Summer
Digital Mag

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