EURO 2020 Best XI and top player, Golden Boot winners

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NBC Sports 14 July, 2021 - 12:27pm 8 views

What did they write on Marcus Rashford mural?

The mural, based on a photograph by Daniel Cheetham, was created last November in recognition of Rashford's work to tackle child food poverty. His mother provided the quote on the mural, which reads: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose.” The Independent‘Lost for words’: Marcus Rashford thanks well-wishers after emotional scenes at mural

Where is the Marcus Rashford mural?

People gather to view the messages of support at the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington. artnet NewsA Mural of English Soccer Player Marcus Rashford, Once the Target of Racist Graffiti, Is Now Covered in Messages of Support

Who missed the penalties for England?

England's other penalty misses were by 21-year-old Jadon Sancho and 23-year-old Marcus Rashford, both of whom had performed peripheral roles in the tournament and were brought on in the final minute of extra-time. Sky SportsItaly win Euro 2020 on penalties: Roy Keane unhappy Bukayo Saka was chosen for decisive penalty

Three players from the EURO 2020 winners, Italy, made the Best XI, alongside three stars from fellow finalists and runners-up, England. Semifinalists Denmark landed a pair of players in the team of the tournament, while France, Portugal and Switzerland were each represented by a single player.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)

Defenders: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy), Harry Maguire (England), Luke Shaw (England), Joakim Maehle (Denmark)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (France), Granit Xhaka (Switzerland), Federico Chiesa (Italy), Raheem Sterling (England), Kasper Dolberg (Denmark)

Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Player of the Tournament: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy) is the first goalkeeper to win the award for the European Championship’s top performer after keeping three clean sheets during the tournament (all three games of the group stage) and saving three straight penalty attempts in the final, as well as one in the semifinals.

Young Player of the Tournament: Pedri (Spain) had only made four senior international appearances prior to EURO 2020, but the 18-year-old Barcelona maestro started all six games as Spain advanced to the semifinals.

Spain coach Luis Enrique said of Pedri: “What Pedri has done in this tournament, at 18, no one has done. Not even Andres Iniesta did that — it’s incredible, unique.”

Do you agree with the Best XI, Donnarumma as Player of the Tournament and Pedri as Young Player of the Tournament? If not, make your case for someone else in the comments below.

Read full article at NBC Sports

England continues to reel after racist reaction to Euro 2020 loss

The Washington Post 14 July, 2021 - 11:08pm

The ugliness included the defacing of a huge mural that features Rashford in Withington. The words were quickly covered, but the sentiment was unmistakable, and police in the Manchester suburb were investigating the incident, which occurred not far from where Rashford grew up.

Residents quickly covered part of the mural, a photograph by Daniel Cheetham on the side of the Coffee House Café, with messages of support. “It’s not right,” Peter Doherty, the cafe’s owner, told the BBC. “It’s not the first time this has happened, either. It takes such guts to get up and take a penalty. We need to take a look at ourselves as England fans. You’d think after the year we’ve had we’d be hugging each other, not hating each other.”

British politicians and public figures were quick to denounce the racist abuse faced by the Black players following the team’s loss Sunday.

Rashford’s penalty kick struck the goal post, and Jadon Sancho also missed before the team’s final attempt, by Bukayo Saka, was stopped, dashing England’s hopes for its first championship in 55 years. On Monday, Rashford’s statement said he had relived his kick over and over.

“I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I am feeling at this exact time,” he wrote. “I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence. I’ve always backed myself for a penalty, but something didn’t feel quite right.

“During the long run-up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted. I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down.“

He went on to say he knew that as a soccer player he “expected to read things written about myself,” but the racist reaction to the loss, quickly condemned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and the Football Association, was something different.

Johnson said at a Monday evening news conference that those directing abuse should “crawl back under the rock which you emerged.” On Tuesday night, Johnson was planning to hold talks about online abuse with companies including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s office.

But there has been a backlash to the backlash.

The Johnson administration has come under fire by those who say it has aided in fueling the abuse directed at players by not doing more to condemn those booing the players taking a knee.

Broadcaster and historian David Olusoga tweeted that the Johnson government calling technology reps into Downing Street was “akin to an arsonist calling out the fire brigade.”

“They had the chance to condemn racism, four weeks ago. Instead they gave a wink to the racists and misrepresented what taking the knee means,” he said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote on Twitter that the racist abuse was “vile” and said it has “no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.”

Responding to her tweet, England footballer Tyrone Mings said: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”

Conservative lawmaker Johnny Mercer, a former defense minister, responded to Mings’s tweet saying: “The painful truth is that this guy is completely right. Very uncomfortable with the position we Conservatives are needlessly forcing ourselves into. Do I fight it or stay silent? Modern Conservatism was always so much more to me. We must not lose our way.”

Opposition Labour politicians also have criticized the government. Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader, tweeted: “Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are like arsonists complaining about a fire they poured petrol on. Total hypocrites.”

At the start of the Euro 2020 tournament, England players took a knee to protest racial inequality, a gesture inspired by NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Johnson initially failed to condemn those booing, but later his office said the prime minister wanted to “see everybody get behind the team to cheer them on, not boo.”

Last month, in an interview with GB News, Patel was asked about players kneeling before games to protest racial injustice. She said: “I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture, gesture politics, to a certain extent, as well.” Asked if England fans were right to boo, she said, “That’s a choice for them, quite frankly.”

In his statement Monday, Rashford expressed appreciation for the support fans have shown. “The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.

“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old Black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that. For all the kind messages thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”

An anti-racism demonstration is taking place Tuesday night near the Rashford mural.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sends message to Man United star after penalty miss

The Sport Review 13 July, 2021 - 04:00pm

Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their spot-kicks in the shootout as Italy triumphed to claim the trophy at Wembley.

The game had finished 1-1 after extra-time after Luke Shaw’s early opener was cancelled out by Leonardo Bonucci’s equaliser in the second half.

Rashford, who did not start a single game at the tournament, was brought on along with Sancho in the dying moments of extra-time to take a penalty.

However, the Manchester United’s attacker’s effort hit the post and went wide.

Sancho and Saka also then missed their spot-kicks as Italy triumphed on penalties.

Manchester United manager Solskjaer, however, has come out in support of Rashford and is confident that the miss will not negatively affect his performances in the long term.

Speaking to Manchester United’s website, Solskjaer said: “You know the thing is when you step up to take a penalty, I think you’ve already won.

“You’ve taken on the responsibility and I’m sure many of the players are hoping I don’t want to take a penalty.

“So I think it’s a great character trait to step up and say I will deal with it, [and] the consequences. You might be the hero or the one who misses. That’s football.

“You learn from it and definitely come back stronger. I’ve not seen many people, at this club anyway, who lay down and say I’ll not take a penalty anymore.

“I know Marcus is going to put his hand up and say he wants to take one for us.”

Rashford will be hoping to help Manchester United to challenge for the Premier League title next season after they finished second and without a trophy last term.

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A Manchester Mural Was Defaced by Racist Graffiti. Soccer Fans Rushed to Fix It.

The New York Times 13 July, 2021 - 03:17pm

A mural of the English star Marcus Rashford, marred by racist slurs after England lost the European soccer championship to Italy, was soon covered in messages of support from fans.

MANCHESTER, England — All of England had been captivated at the prospect of being crowned European soccer champions for the first time, and the national team’s wrenching defeat on Sunday tore a collective wound — in more ways than one.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were among the five England players who braved the pressures of the penalty shootout at the end of the championship. But they all missed the mark, unleashing a surge of racist abuse on social media against the players, all of whom are young Black men.

In the early hours of Monday, Manchester police were called to Withington, in the south of the city, where Mr. Rashford was born, after receiving reports that racist graffiti had been scrawled on a monochrome mural of the soccer star.

The vision of a multiracial, multiethnic Britain that the England team came to symbolize as it fought its way to the final, emphasized by its stance on antiracism with players taking a knee before each game, appeared to vanish.

But as news of the vandalism spread, one act of racism was met with hundreds of messages of pride and love.

Within hours, a collage of hearts, England flags and letters, addressed to Rashford from local fans of every age and color, covered the black sheets of paper that had been used to cover the graffiti. One note read, “My Prime Minister” and “heart of the nation,” while another said, “son of Manchester.”

Akse P19, the local street artist who created the mural, soon repaired the parts destroyed by the vandalism.

Israel Powell, 8, came to the mural accompanied by his father, Tru, 36, who brought his son to see how much his favorite soccer star, once a Black boy from Manchester like Israel himself, was revered by so many, and to post a letter on the wall.

“The racist abuse made me really sad,” Israel said. “Dear Saka, Sancho and Rashford, I like you because you did the best you could do. It’s OK if you didn’t score, I’m still proud of you,” he said, recalling what he wrote in his letter.

Hazel Roy felt compelled to show her solidarity for Mr. Rashford on Tuesday, despite it being her 75th birthday. “I was appalled when I heard that the mural had been defaced,” she said. But, she added, “I was so heartened to hear many people had come to offer their support for him, because I think what he’s done is magnificent.”

Long before his meteoric rise as a soccer star for Manchester United and the England national team, Mr. Rashford, now a famous multimillionaire athlete, once relied on free school meals.

During lockdown last year, Mr. Rashford introduced a campaign to help provide food for more than two million British children during the coronavirus lockdown, an effort that captured national attention after the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to extend a Covid-related free school meal program into the six-week summer vacation last year. Mr. Johnson eventually made a U-turn after receiving widespread criticism.

At Button Lane Primary School, where Mr. Rashford was once a student, Emma Roberts, the head teacher, said both staff members and pupils had been deeply affected by the torrent of racist abuse directed toward Mr. Rashford, who still visits the school.

“Speaking to the pupils this week, they’re more upset that Marcus has had to deal with racist abuse than the fact that England lost in the final,” she said.

An analysis of tweets directed over the last 12 months at elite soccer, basketball, tennis, golf and ice hockey athletes by Pickswise, a sports betting website, found that Mr. Rashford suffered more attacks on Twitter than any other soccer player in the world. The only athlete who received a greater number of abusive tweets was LeBron James, the basketball player.

Shaista Aziz, an avid England fan and antiracism campaigner, is one of three women who started #TheThreeHijabis online petition, which has now received almost a million signatures, calling on England’s Football Association and the British government to permanently ban from soccer matches those carrying out racist abuse online or offline.

With soccer, she said, “we’ve really seen the extreme, open truth of how racism manifests in this country.”

In a statement shared on Twitter, Mr. Rashford apologized for missing his penalty in the finals. He thanked his local community for their messages of support, saying they had brought him to the “verge of tears.”

“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old Black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, I have that,” he wrote.

Tommy Judge, the lord mayor of Manchester, described Mr. Rashford as the loudest voice on social issues in the country. “I’m 42 years older than him, but I can learn something from this young man,” he said.

“We’ve got one nasty comment replaced by hundreds of loving comments. That’s what I take from today,” he added, gesturing to the crowds around the mural. “We’ve come out in force to say, ‘Not in Manchester, not in our name, and not against Marcus Rashford.’”

Tory MP calls for investigation into how many racist football tweets originated in UK

Yahoo News UK 13 July, 2021 - 10:44am

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have been targeted after they missed in Sunday’s penalty shootout as England lost to Italy.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, after responding to a tweet calling for evidence over which “accounts were England fans”, said he has tabled a written parliamentary question to home secretary Priti Patel asking how many of the racist tweets were posted in the UK.

MPs use written questions to find out information from government departments, which then have to issue a response.

It comes as Boris Johnson is set to urge social media firms to take tougher action over racist abuse.

The prime minister was preparing to hold talks about online abuse with companies including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in Number 10 on Tuesday, in the wake of the attacks after Sunday’s final.

However, the government has come under fire over its previous discussions surrounding racism earlier in the tournament.

After home secretary Priti Patel condemned the racist abuse of the players, England squad member Tyrone Mings accused her of “pretending to be disgusted”, pointing to her previous labelling of taking the knee before games as “gesture politics”.

England players took the knee before each game in the Euros as an anti-racism gesture.

Critics have argued this is also showing political support for the Black Lives Matter campaign group, though England manager Gareth Southgate insisted this is not the case, saying the players were "supporting each other".

Ex-minister Johnny Mercer, who resigned from the government in April, was among those who backed Mings over Patel.

He said taking the knee is “about empathy with our fellow countrymen who suffer appalling abuse”.

Boris Johnson also condemned the abuse of Rashford, Sancho and Saka, saying those responsible should “crawl back under the rock from which you emerged”.

However, he has also been criticised after he delayed issuing criticism of the booing of players earlier in the tournament for taking the knee.

Ex-England player Gary Neville, who was a pundit for ITV during the Euros, said on Monday: “The prime minister said it was OK for the population of this country to boo those players who were trying to promote equality and defend against racism. It starts at the very top.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also said the PM “shouldn’t have sat back, he should’ve called out the booing – because if you boo players who are taking a stand against racism then you end up where we are today”.

On Tuesday, Downing Street indicated Johnson would be comfortable with England footballers taking a knee at a Number 10 reception if one was held for them.

His spokesman said: “I think the prime minister made his feelings clear. People should feel free to show their respect and show how much they condemn racism in this country in any way that they choose.”

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Wednesday briefing: Tories urged to rethink stance on taking a kneeLabour wants people convicted of racist abuse to be banned from football games … outrage over foreign aid cuts … and readers applaud the England team People take the knee during a demonstration in support of England player Marcus Rashford that was vandalised after the Euro 2020 final. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

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