There is nothing quite like the emotional rollercoaster that is a penalty shoot-out.
Regardless of the context, football’s ultimate tie-breaker ensures one thing: there will be a hero and there will be some bitter disappointment.
With the two sides locked together at 1-1 after 120 minutes at Wembley Stadium, it came down to spot-kicks to determine the destination of the trophy.
England lose on penalties (The Football Terrace)
Although teammates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho had earlier failed to convert their penalties, the crucial miss of the night came from the boot of the 19-year-old Arsenal man. Trailing 3-2 at the time, Saka needed to score in order to extend the shoot-out into sudden death.
His penalty, though, was saved – meaning the Italians claimed the second European Championships victory in their history.
Visibly distraught, Saka was immediately consoled by his fellow England players and staff. It was a cruel end to what has been a breakout tournament for the pacey Londoner.
While Saka’s world looked like it had just caved in, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma showed barely a flicker of emotion as he sauntered away from the goal. The rest of his side were going absolutely crazy as they chased the 22-year-old down, but Donnarumma stayed as cool as a cucumber.
Match footage shows the PSG-bound shot-stopper in the immediate aftermath of his save from Saka – and it needs to be seen to be believed. He’s so calm it’s almost as though he’s nipping out for a pint of milk at his local shop, rather than winning a major international trophy for his country!
You can see the incredible moments themselves here…
Fans, of course, have had plenty to say about Donnarumma’s hugely understated reaction to his moment of glory.
“It’s just another day in the office,” read one response.
Another reply praised Donnarumma for his “‘I do this for a living posture'”.
“Cold as ice,” remarked a third user.
Donnarumma’s body language even had some fans questioning if Italy had actually secured victory, with one response reading: “So strange! for a second I thought my maths was wrong and somehow it was not over.”
However, it was over and Italy were crowned Euro 2020 champions. In the aftermath of the shoot-out, Donnarumma was crowned Player of the Tournament for a string of highly impressive performances over the course of the competition.
Although he might not have shown it immediately, the giant Italian was naturally thrilled with his country’s win – and was later seen celebrating on social media with a huge smile across his face.
Still in his early 20s, Donnarumma looks set to be in contention for major honors for quite some time to come. After this weekend, we know that he has the composure for the big occasion.