England’s hopes for football silverware rest on racially diverse team members equally active on off-field matters.
Italy will take on England in the final of the Euro 2020 at Wembley on Sunday, aiming to lift their second continental football trophy.
However, the footballers are not the only Italians vying for silverware in London on Sunday.
Matteo Berrettini, 25, will become the first Italian to play in a singles final at Wimbledon when he takes on five-time champion Novak Djokovic on Centre Court.
Berrettini claimed a 6-3, 6-0, 6-7, 6-4 win in the semis over Polish opponent Hubert Hurkacz, who had knocked out eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) July 9, 2021
Berrettini said Italians should make sure they have a nice TV for what he promises to be a special Sunday for the sport-mad nation.
“I will tell them to buy a nice TV if they don’t have one already because I think it’s going to be a special Sunday for all of us,” Berrettini said when asked about the seismic sporting Sunday in which he will play a leading role.
“It’s something crazy to believe for us, obviously let’s say tennis, because it’s never happened. So it’s something that nobody expected – me in the first place.
“Then for football, because I mean, we didn’t qualify for the World Cup [in 2018], so after that the job that they did, how hard they worked, the effort that they put, I think they really deserve this final.”
Berrettini will be a huge underdog in his first Grand Slam final against the Serb who is playing his 30th.
The Euro 2020 final, however, looks too close to call.
“For Italian people in general, it’s going to be tough Sunday, no? But I think we deserve it. It’s great day, great sport day. I’m really happy that together with football now [tennis] is one of the biggest sports in Italy,” Berrettini said.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) July 9, 2021
Despite football fever breaking out across London, seventh seed Berrettini says he will only be focusing on becoming the first Italian to hoist the Challenge Cup.
“Obviously I’m going to think first about mine. I think the schedule is going to come first. Then probably, if I have the chance, I’m going to watch them,” he said.