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England star suffers ‘minor knock’ as police issue warning to fans ahead of final

Written by on 10/07/2021

England midfielder Phil Foden has suffered a “minor knock” and missed the team’s training session on the eve of the Euro 2020 final.

The Manchester City star, who has started two games during the tournament and came on as a substitute in the victory over Denmark in the semi-final, sat out the final training session at St George’s Park on Saturday, the FA said.

The other 25 members of the England squad trained as normal and all of the players – including Foden – have passed their UEFA mandated PCR tests for coronavirus.

Harry Maguire (L) and Harry Kane appeared relaxed at England's training session
Image: Harry Maguire (left) and Harry Kane appeared relaxed at England’s training session
England's Phil Foden has suffered a "minor knock" and missed training before the final
Image: Phil Foden is now ‘unlikely’ to start against Italy, according to Sky Sports News

Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett said Foden is now “very unlikely to start against Italy in the final” at Wembley on Sunday.

Italy left their training base in Florence on Saturday – but it was not all smooth sailing as they nearly left a key member of Roberto Mancini’s team behind at the hotel.

The team bus began driving off without former Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli, a coach with the Italian team, before the alarm was quickly raised.

More on Euro 2020

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Next stop Wembley: Italy squad are on their way

The Italians landed at Luton Airport on Saturday afternoon.

Some 65,000 fans will be at Wembley for the final, the biggest crowd at a football match in the UK since the start of the pandemic.

The last remaining tickets went on sale on UEFA’s official website at 1pm on Saturday.

The Metropolitan Police said London “remains in a public health crisis” and urged people “not to gather in large numbers”.

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England hope to relive 1966 glory

“If you don’t have ticket to the matches, fan zone or officially booked into a pub, bar or club my message is clear: please do not come to London – you could end up missing the game,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said.

An expectant nation is set to spend millions of pounds today readying itself for Sunday’s showdown with Italy for the chance to be crowned champions of Europe.

The England football team is seeking to win their first major trophy in 55 years following the famous 1966 World Cup victory.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in training
Image: Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane in training
Harry Kane (l) and Harry Maguire during a training session on the eve of the final
Image: The England players are seeking to win the national team’s first major trophy for 55 years

It is predicted fans will buy millions of pints on Sunday, take out hundreds of million of pounds out in cash – and some are even changing their names of their streets to show their backing for the Three Lions.

While England fans have been singing Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) throughout the tournament, Frank Skinner has claimed UEFA opposed plans for him and David Baddiel to perform the song on the pitch before the final, saying it was “too partisan and not fair to the Italians”.

Ahead of Sunday’s final, Gareth Southgate made an appeal to England’s wartime spirit, urging supporters to be proud of its achievements both on and off the pitch.

Gareth Southgate during a training session at St George's Park
Image: Gareth Southgate during a training session at St George’s Park

The England manager said the nation has “so much to be proud of” and urged fans to stop “looking at the negatives of our own country”.

He stressed the wider significance of the game, with the Three Lions uniting the country as it emerges from the pandemic, encouraging diversity and taking a stand against racism.

“I think these are historic things that we can be proud of,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“It’s a wonderful privilege to be able to make a difference.”

Southgate, 50, claimed he believed the “Blitz spirit” was partially behind England’s win against Germany in their last-16 match.

“People have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back,” he told the paper.

“You can’t hide that energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that. I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what the story was.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed on Saturday that the FA has been fined more than £25,000 after a laser pointer was directed at Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during England’s semi-final victory.

TV pictures showed a green light being shone on the Leicester player’s face as Kane lined up his spot-kick. Schmeichel saved Kane’s initial shot but was beaten on the rebound for what proved the decisive goal.

The punishment handed out by UEFA also takes into account the booing of the Danish national anthem prior to the game and the setting off of fireworks by some fans.

The Euro 2020 final between England and Italy kicks off at 8pm on Sunday.

 Sky News

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