- Doug Faulkner, Becky Morton
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have sent messages of support to the England national team ahead of the Euro 2020 final.
The team, under the technical direction of Gareth Southgate, plays Italy at Wembley Stadium, today, Sunday, at 20:00 GMT.
The Queen’s message reads: “55 years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore, and saw what it meant, for players, management and support staff, to reach and win the final of one of the major international football tournaments.”
“I want to send all of you my congratulations and my family’s congratulations on reaching the European Championship final, and I hope that history will record not only your success, but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you dealt with yourselves.”
In his message, Boris Johnson told the team he had “really made history” by making England to the final of a major international competition for the first time in 55 years.
“I have formed a group of brothers whose energy, perseverance, teamwork, and sheer talent seem to shine in everything they do,” he said.
“You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift this cup too,” he added, “We don’t just hope or pray. We believe in you Gareth and your great team.”
“On behalf of the entire nation, good luck.”
Meanwhile, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer described the team as a “role example” and urged them to “bring the trophy home”.
“On and off the field, you have shown the best of England during this tournament,” he said.
“You have been as brave as the three lions on our badge. And despite those who have tried to undermine you, you have used your position to defend our shared values as a nation.”
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, said: “What a performance !. Every member of the team played their part.”
“I really can’t believe this is happening. Very exciting. Good luck.”
Speaking at a press conference, Southgate said: “It has been great to receive the message from the Queen and the Prime Minister to the whole squad, and to acknowledge that the players have done it in the right way.”
“But we’re in a final and we’re here to win. Now we want to go and bring the trophy home,” Southgate added.
Earlier on Saturday, fans lined the road as they cheered for the team bus from the England training complex near Burton upon Trent. The team is based in Watford, near Wembley Stadium.
For his part, captain Harry Kane said: “Seeing the fans in the street and seeing the welcome we had, it showed us how big the occasion is.”
“We know how important this is to the English fans, so we are proud to represent them and we hope to be proud of them tomorrow night.”
The Queen isn’t the only person wishing the England team luck, while Kane revealed that actor Tom Cruise has called the team.
“We did call Tom Cruise yesterday evening,” he told the BBC.
“We were fortunate enough to see one of his films, so I think he was here in Britain and he just called us to wish us the best as a group. So that was great of him,” Keane added.
“I’m not sure if he will be in the final, but football is a big part of the world and it’s good to have that support.”
David Baddel, Frank Skinner and Lightning Seeds, who are behind the Three Lions football anthem, also sent messages of support to the England team.