by Pawan Atri
England, who have never won the European Championship, are bidding to win their first major international trophy in 55 years. The last time the Three Lions triumphed in a big competition was in 1966, when they captured their lone FIFA World Cup title.
Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has trolled England over the home side’s chances of winning the Euro 2020 title.
England and Denmark will take on each other in the second semi-final of the Euro 2020 at Wembley on Wednesday.
Schmeichel was in a joyous mood as he engaged in some fun banter with a reporter ahead of Denmark’s clash with home favourites England in the Euro 2020 semis.
He even asked the reporter if the Euros have “ever been home”, taking a sly dig at Harry Kane and his men by laughing at the possibility of “football coming home”.
Kasper Schmeichel is now one of my favourite players around. pic.twitter.com/1IcYehz7Ik
— Jordan (@JordanWebber96) July 6, 2021
The remark came as no team has won the Euro title at home since France defeated Spain 2-0 in the 1984 final in Paris.
England last featured in a semi-final at the Euros in 1996, at the same venue where they will face Denmark. But they were beaten by arch-rivals Germany, as current English manager Gareth Southgate missed his shot at the opposition’s goal in a penalty shootout.
According to Southgate, England has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. He was appointed England manager in November 2016.
The “massive strides” England have taken under Southgate’s leadership seemed to have been quite visible during their ongoing Euro campaign. They were able to defeat Germany for the first time in a knockout game in 55 years before demolishing Ukraine 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
England made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia under Southgate, but lost to Croatia in what was termed as one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
Southgate has said that he wouldn’t be pleased with a similar result and wants his team to go all the way this time round.
“We won’t feel totally satisfied if it’s just a semi-final for us whereas maybe three years ago, although there was massive disappointment after the semi-final [at the World Cup], there was a feeling we’d come a long way”, he told British media on Tuesday.
“Now we’ve replicated what we did there, but that won’t be enough to fulfill the group. That’s a positive sign”, he added.
Despite Schmeichel undermining England’s favourite status, former India international Syed Rahim Nabi expects them to win their game against Denmark.
“For me, England are the overwhelming favourites to win not just the semi-final, but to claim their first-ever Euro title at home”, he told Sputnik on Wednesday,
The winner will meet Roberto Mancini’s Italy in Sunday’s final in London.