The triumphs and tragedies of Euro 2020 were great entertainment. Although major national tournaments are won by the big countries, they have a meritocracy that Uefa’s club football tournaments lost long ago.
Contests where Switzerland can eliminate France, Hungary can terrify Germany and Denmark can reach a semi-final are compulsive. Those of us who get our football kicks from the Champions and Europa Leagues can only dream of the level playing field where developing talent provides a remote chance of success.
Italy deserved to win the final, although Spain and France will wonder what could have been. England had Italy on the ropes for 20 minutes, but when Kane was nullified, Gareth Southgate looked like someone whose only previous managerial experience was in charge of Middlesbrough. The song that describes “30 years of hurt” will soon be 30 years out of date. They will never have a better chance.
I was in London last week and was able to enjoy banter with England fans without a whiff of trouble. They are no more represented by this morning’s headlines than Scots are represented by what happened in George Square. The human condition has a long way to go.