Euro 2020, the silver medal rejected by the British. A scandal? No, an established practice in sport.
In the last season, the English club teams that finished second in European competitions have accustomed us to this unsportsmanlike practice. But the removal of the silver medal is a phenomenon that has also affected Italian players and teams.
When the England captain was asked after the match whether the silver medal was a success or a missed opportunity, the Tottenham forward replied: “Definitely a missed opportunity.” Coach Gareth Southgate, on the other hand, was among the few to hold the medal proudly around his neck. To be fair, the gesture of Kane, Shaw, Foden, Grealish, Mount, Phillips, Stones, Rashford and his companions is not an isolated case in the history of football finals. Indeed, it seems that it is an increasingly popular trend. A couple of months ago, some Manchester City players, after losing the Champions League final to Chelsea, took away the second place medal right after receiving it. Same thing for the Manchester United athletes, defeated by Villarreal on penalties in the Europa League final. Still remaining across the Channel, but speaking of an oval ball, the English rugby players, in 2019, chose not to wear the silver medal after losing the World Cup final against South Africa
Even Italian football is not exempt from this unsportsmanlike practice. Going back to 2013, in the final of the Italian Cup between Rome and Lazio won by the biancocelesti 0-1, the images of Francesco Totti and his companions are impressed with each other removing the silver medal with a funeral face. Alessandro Florenzi, who was Romanist at the time, also took away his prize. Yesterday, at Wembley, the only veteran of that derby eight years ago, he would have had no reason to do so. Two years ago, Lazio as the protagonist, the social controversy against the Juventus champion, Cristiano Ronaldo, who, defeated in the Italian supercup final, immediately removed the second place medal from his neck.
By Felice Florio
Translation by Romano Pisciotti