EU president Ursula von der Leyen hopes Italy will beat England in Euro 2020 final

Spokesperson tells reporters that the president’s ‘heart is with the Squadra Azzurra’ in the upcoming match

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Friday 09 July 2021 12:41
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<p>Ursula von der Leyen is president of the European Commission</p>

Ursula von der Leyen is president of the European Commission

The president of the European Commission will be cheering for Italy beat England in Sunday's Euro 2020 football final, her spokesperson has said.

After asking about Ursula von der Leyen's preference to win Euro 2020 reporters were told: "Her heart is with the Squadra Azzurra so she will be supporting Italy on Sunday."

Ms von der Leyen, who is German, saw her national team knocked out by England in the round of sixteen.

The European Commission generally stays neutral in sporting competitions between member states – but Brexit has made the EU president's allegiance in the final all but inevitable.

During the 2018 World Cup Brussels declared victory ahead of the semi-finals as the four teams remaining – Belgium, Croatia, England and France – were at the time all EU member states.

A spokesperson for the Commission at the time declared that "football is staying home in the European Union", a reference to the popular song Three Lions.

La Squadra Azzurra means "the blue team" and is a reference to Italy's blue football shirts.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but have made a stunning comeback during 2021's delayed Euro 2020 championship.

The blues will face Gareth Southgate's England in the final on Sunday, with an 8pm kick-off at Wembley, UK time.

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