Forza Azzurri! The City of Vaughan Celebrates the Euro Cup Italy Win
In a post-match interview by Optus Sport from yesterday’s nail-biting Euro 2020 UEFA Championship Italy win against England, Coach Roberto Mancini recognized the pride and joy in taking the gold medal home for Italian communities and fans all over the world, “We are happy for Italians everywhere, Italians living abroad, and Italians all over the world…We have given them a month of success and joy…they deserved joy after a very difficult period.”
It came as no surprise that the City of Vaughan, being home to one of the largest Italian populations in Canada and has a strong identity tied to soccer, was filled with thousands of dedicated fans who gathered at Market Lane in Woodbridge, loudly cheering and waving Italian flags in the wake of the exciting win. Monitored by officers from the York Regional Police, Vaughan firefighters and York paramedics, the crowds, both old and young, safely celebrated the milestone event.
Completely filled with an ocean of blue Azzurri jerseys from Kipling to Islington, Market Lane was far from what the Wembley Stadium looked like in London. Woodbridge’s celebration is a natural extension of how the community has been supporting the Italian team over the past month. Throughout the tournament, the City of Vaughan and the Italian community proudly marked Italy’s wins by illuminating City Hall in the colours of red, white and green.
Having first won the Euro Cup in 1968, the Italian men’s national team win represents its second Euro title after 53 years, beating England 3-2 in a penalty shootout. Some of the game’s highlights include England’s Luke Shaw striking the quickest-ever goal in a European Championship final within the second minute of the game, Leonardo Bonucci equalizing the match in the 67th minute, and Italy’s 22-year-old goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, making two stunning saves in the penalty shootouts.
After failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018, Italy’s win represents a renaissance for Italian soccer, “You always need to believe. You always need to strive for the top, and you must never give up. You need to want it more than anything,” said Bonucci, in an Optus Sport post-match interview following the incredible victory.
In many ways, the second Italian European crown represents something larger than a major sports win; it acts as a symbol of hope and light at the end of the tunnel for a nation of people slowly healing and regaining their sense of joy from the devastating effects that have resulted from the pandemic.