With the victory of Italian football, ‘Brexit is over’
ROME – At 12:06 a.m. local time on Monday, shortly after the Italian goalkeeper blocked a penalty kick to beat England and become European football champions, Carlo Cottarelli, a prominent Italian economist ever mentioned as a potential prime minister, celebrated with a single word
“Brexi !!!!!!!!” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr Cottarelli had plenty of company – from European members of parliament to savage Italian fans and continental leaders – in linking England’s failure in the Euro 2020 finals to Britain’s exit from the European Union, known worldwide as Brexit.
It was inevitable that the political solution of the results would be layered in the match. Italy was a founding member of the European Union and is currently run by a statesman who often deserves its preservation. England is part of the country that played its stability and future by leaving the EU last year.
After the two sides negotiated tough passes between defenders, made tough fouls and pushed for advantage long after the allotted time had expired, the Italians lifted the trophy at Wembley Stadium. Italian star defender Leonardo Bonucci, who scored a critical goal in the second half, was caught mocking angry English fans, calling them weak who needed “to eat more pasta”.
On Monday, as “Brexit Completed” memes filled the Italian network, fans filled the luxury hotel where the team was staying outside the Villa Borghese park in Rome and cheered as their bus passed the Quirinal Palace, one of the Italian president’s homes. The players, dressed in gray jackets over black T-shirts and pants, moved in with the young boy in town.
After 6 p.m., police cars tried to cut a path for the blue bus, striped in the colors of the Italian flag, through thick crowds of scooters and stopped fans – bent by ambulances and cars, waving flags, singing cheering football, lining wide streets and jogging along the road. The motorcade brought the players to the center of Rome and the Chigi Palace, wearing a large Italian flag, where they met the main resident of the palace, the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi.
The official government source posted the images on its live broadcast.
Mr Draghi, sometimes dubbed “Super Mario” after helping to save the European Union as the former head of the European Central Bank, walked out of the palace to greet the team as the crowd roared from the sight of the trophy held by the players.
Mr. Draghi took off his mask, exhibiting a rare, unanimous smile as the team surrounded him and cheered: “It’s us; the champions of Italy are us. ”
Mr Draghi then returned to shake hands with Matteo Berrettini, the first Italian man to reach the finals of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Near the footballers Mr. Berrettini looked like a consul.
Everyone moved inside the courtyard of the palace for a ceremony broadcast on national television, where, in front of European and Italian Union flags, Mr Draghi made a point of thanking team coach Roberto Mancini and captain Giorgio Chiellini and praised Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, saying, “And what a block.”
But the prime minister also had a bigger point.
“You put us in the center of Europe and the many congratulatory messages we received during these hours – even I, personally – confirm that,” he said, adding that sports were “an instrument of unity especially in difficult times such as one that we have gone through ”.
Other Italian and European politicians were less subtle.
Before the start of the final, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen watched absolutely satisfied wear the Italian colors with her name on the jersey over the number 27, which is the number of seats on the block. If England had stayed, she would have worn 28.
“A very nice surprise from our EU Commission team in Italy,” she wrote, shining as she wore the jersey and posed behind an “Italy” scarf. She wished the Italian team good luck and wrote: “Fingers crossed for tonight’s Euro 2020 final”.
“Go to Italy” Alessandra Moretti, a liberal member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter. “A united Europe can defeat Brexit England!”
A Polish colleague in Parliament, Łukasz Kohut, said he was heading to Italy because of Brexit, and after the final whistle, Luis Garicano, a Member of Parliament from Spain, posted a video of fun at a sight-seeing party just outside the building. “Brexi “on the side of the European Parliament,” he wrote.
Some of the most enthusiastic roots against England came from the corners of the UK most disgusted by Brexit.
Before the match, the Scottish newspaper The National covered the face of Coach Mancini in the character of Mel Gibson in the movie “Braveheart”, with the headline, “Save us Roberto, You are our Last Hope: We can not do another 55 years of them by attacked for this “.
The Italian media also could not resist the soft balls.
Giovanna Pancheri, a presenter at SkyTG24, one of the leading news channels in Italy, celebrated the victory with a Tweet, in English.
“Brexit is real,” she wrote, “And it’s very good!”
In pre-game reports from Wembley Stadium, her broadcast colleagues noticed how drunk and aggressive many British fans were, interrupting several times their interviews with Italian fans, who appeared polite, enthusiastic and happy about to be there.
In fact, a good departure atmosphere included most of the trumpet celebrations, fireworks lighting, and air rustling in the not-so-small Monday hours in Rome.
As tens of thousands of Italian fans poured into the streets and marched through the city, they marched under large signs reading “Happy Brexit” and called England “worthless” for leaving the EU. Many fans cheered as the Italian team praised their trophy, shook and smoked e-cigarettes from the top of a British-style mattress bus with the words “European Champions”.
Before 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 resembling a British flag wearing a blazer and tie, Mr Farage said he “did not want to put Brexit in it, believe me, but can not be helped because Ursula von der Leyen and others “European commissioners are making it clear that they want Italy to win.”
“They are telling us that the whole of Europe wants Italy to win,” he said. “They can not stand the thought of Brexit, Britain succeed.”
After Sunday night’s game, they had no reason.
Emma Bubola contributed to the report from Rome.