Regardless of whether you support England or not, it was impossible not to feel sorry for Bukayo Saka.
The 19-year-old had the unenviable responsibility of keeping England in the Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out against Italy at Wembley last weekend.
England’s hopes of winning their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup were kept alive by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who had just saved from Jorginho.
However, Saka’s subsequent spot-kick was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, leaving England fans with an all-too-familiar feeling of crushing pain and bitter disappointment at the full-time whistle.
It was an extremely cruel moment on young Saka, who had been so impressive throughout the tournament.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford also missed penalties during the shoot-out. The football community has rallied around the three England stars after they received disgusting online racist abuse in the aftermath of the final.
What has Mikel Arteta said about Bukayo Saka?
Saka’s club manager, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, expects the young starlet will be okay following his recent ordeal.
“We all have, I think, spoken to him, sent messages,” Arteta told Sky Sports News.
“He will be fine. He is such a strong character. He has received a lot of love and support from world football, not only with Arsenal but the national team and all the English fans because he doesn’t deserve anything like [what] he has been through.”
Tactical cam footage of Saka’s Euro 2020 final penalty
While Saka could be forgiven if he never wanted to watch back the penalty for the rest of his life, fascinating tactical cam footage has emerged – and there’s a lot to unpack.
The aerial view provides a Sensible Soccer-style (kids: ask your parents!) angle of the decisive penalty.
From this footage, you can see Pickford’s devastated reaction in the bottom left-hand corner of the video.
We also see one of the assistant referees make a mad dash to grab the match ball as Italy’s players charge onto the pitch.
Full respect must go to Kalvin Phillips, who was the first England player to console Saka, running from the halfway line to the heartbroken teenager.
Watch the footage here…
There’s a slightly longer version here…
Let’s see what else viewers have spotted from the tactical cam video…
Although the pain is still raw at the moment, England’s players will surely look back at the tournament with a great sense of pride in the future.
And their focus will soon turn to going one step further at next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
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