Giroud’s Ghost, Southgate and the Most Awaited Revenge. Will Football Come Home This Time?

Who knows if Stefan de Vrij will have seen the ghost of Olivier Giroud in the movement with which Ollie Watkins “he turned” and pierced Verbruggen with an unstoppable diagonal. Holland’s dream of repeating the feat achieved in 1988 was interrupted in the 90th minute of the match in Dortmund, England’s continued: the Three Lions58 years after the home World Cup that represents their only international triumph, they finally want to lift another trophy.

Three years later, Southgate’s team is again in the final of the European Championship. This time it will not be Italy but Spain, even if the refrain is always the same: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, football’s coming home”. A song by Baddiel, Skinner & the Lightning Seeds that has become an irresistible “hymn to defeat”, because it speaks of a fan base accustomed to losing despite always having the hope of bringing “football home”.

This long wait could end on Sunday in Berlin, when Gareth Southgate will have a unique opportunity to take two sensational revenges in one fell swoop: the first for the disappointment of the 2021 final, the second for the home European Championship of 1996, the one of “It’s coming home”: the semi-final against Germany ended on penalties and the current coach missed one of the shots that threw an entire country into despair. A few days later, Bierhoff’s brace gave the title to the Germans; what better opportunity to make history than to return the humiliation and win at the home of their rivals?