With the victory of Italian football, “Brexit ended”



ROME – Monday at 12:06 am local time, just after the Italian goalkeeper blocked a penalty to defeat England and become European football champion, Carlo Cottarelli, a prominent Italian economist sometimes referred to as a potential prime minister, celebrated with one word.

“Brexit !!!!!!!!” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Cottarelli has had many people – from MEPs to boisterous Italian supporters and mainland leaders – to link England’s failure in the Euro 2020 final to Britain leaving the l European Union, known the world over as Brexit.

It was inevitable that a political settling of scores would overlap the game. Italy was a founding member of the European Union and is currently ruled by a statesman often credited with saving it. England is part of the country that bet on its own stability and future by leaving the EU last year.

After both teams negotiated tough passes between defenders, committed gross faults and pushed for the advantage long after the time limit had expired, the Italians hoisted the trophy at Wembley Stadium. Star Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci, who scored a critical second-half goal, was caught mocking angry England fans, calling them weak who needed to “eat more pasta”.

As ‘Brexit Completed’ memes filled the Italian web on Monday, fans gathered at the luxury hotel where the team were staying outside the grounds of Villa Borghese in Rome and cheered as their bus was going to the Quirinal Palace, one of the residences of the Italian president. . The players, wearing gray jackets over black T-shirts and pants, moved with the bluster of young men in town.

After 6 p.m., police cars attempted to cut a path for the blue bus, striped in the colors of the Italian flag, through thick crowds of scooters and stopped fans – leaning out of ambulances and cars, waving flags , singing football songs, lining the wide avenues and skirting the road. The procession took the players to central Rome and the Chigi Palace, draped in a huge Italian flag, where they met the palace’s main resident, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The official government stream put the footage on its livestream.

Mr Draghi, sometimes referred to as “Super Mario” after helping save the European Union as the former head of the European Central Bank, walked out of the palace into the square to greet the team as the crowd roared at the view of the trophy held by the players.

Mr. Draghi took off his mask, exhibiting a rare and unironic smile, as the team surrounded him and chanted, “This is us; the Champions of Italy are us.

Mr Draghi then turned to shake hands with Matteo Berrettini, the first Italian to reach the final of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Beside the footballers, Mr. Berrettini looked like a consul.

Everyone moved to the courtyard of the palace for a ceremony broadcast on national television, where, in front of the Italian and European Union flags, Mr. Draghi thanked the team’s coach, Roberto Mancini, and the captain, Giorgio Chiellini, and to congratulate the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, telling him: “And what a block.”

But the Prime Minister also had a more important point.

“You put us at the center of Europe, and the many congratulatory messages we have received at these times – even me, personally – prove it,” he said, adding that sport was “an instrument of union especially in difficult times like the one we went through.

Other Italian and European politicians were less subtle.

Before the start of the final, President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission watched absolutely delighted wear the Italian colors with his name on the jersey above the number 27, which is the number of countries in the block. If England had stayed, they would have worn 28.

“Very nice surprise from our European Commission team in Italy,” she wrote, beaming as she held up the jersey and posed behind an “Italy” scarf. She wished the Italian team good luck and wrote: “Fingers crossed for the Euro 2020 final tonight.”

“Go to Italy”, Alessandra Moretti, a liberal member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter. “A united Europe beats England from Brexit!”

Polish colleague in Parliament Åukasz Kohut said he supported Italy because of Brexit, and after the final whistle Luis Garicano, Member of the Spanish Parliament, posted a video celebrations during an evening of observation just outside the building. “Brexit on the side of the European Parliament, â€he wrote.

Some of the most enthusiastic roots against England have come from the corners of the UK most disgusted by Brexit.

Before the match, the Scottish newspaper The National superimposed the face of Coach Mancini on the character of Mel Gibson in the movie “Braveheart”, with the headline “Save us Roberto, you are our last hope: we cannot take still 55 years of them typing about it.

The Italian media could not resist the soft bullets either.

Giovanna Pancheri, presenter of SkyTG24, one of the main Italian news channels, celebrated the victory with a Tweet, in English.

“Brexit is real” she wrote, “and it’s so good!”

In pre-match reporting from Wembley Stadium, his broadcast colleagues noted how drunk and aggressive many English fans were, occasionally interrupting their talks with Italian fans, who appeared polite, enthusiastic and happy to be the.

In fact, a good storage room vibe permeated much of the celebrations of horns, fireworks and air horns until the not-so-small Monday hours in Rome.

As tens of thousands of Italian fans took to the streets and passed through the city, they marched under large signs reading ‘Happy Brexit’ and called England ‘worthless’ for leaving the EU . e-cigarettes smoked on top of a British-style double-decker bus lined with the words ‘Champions of Europe’.

Ahead of the game, Nigel Farage, a Brexit architect, said he did not appreciate Ms von der Leyen’s public preference for Italy.

Sitting on a sofa and looking like a British flag who had donned a blazer and tie, Mr Farage said he ‘didn’t want to bring Brexit into it, trust me, but that can’t be helped because Ursula von der Leyen and others EU commissioners have made it clear that they want Italy to win.

“They tell us that all of Europe wants Italy to win,” he said. “They can’t stand the idea of ​​Brexit with Britain succeeding.”

After Sunday night’s game, they didn’t have to.

Emma Bubola contributed reporting from Rome.


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