This is how Toronto soccer fans celebrated Italy's big Euro Cup win
Congratulations appear to be in order for thousands of sports fans who, despite being neither professional soccer players nor Italian residents, balled out last night in Toronto as if they themselves had defeated England to bring the Euro Cup back to Rome.
From College Street to St. Clair West and all over the downtown core, Canada's largest city exploded into joyous rapture on Sunday evening as Italy emerged victorious from a penalty shootout to secure the 2020 European Championship title.
With Italy’s Euro cup win comes the return of Toronto’s favourite summer activity: shuffling slowly through a packed street festival pic.twitter.com/XzxsoSIGbk— Daniel Rotsztain (@theurbangeog) July 12, 2021
It was an intense game, with each team scoring just one point at London's Wembley Stadium before going into penalties.
Things came to an emotional conclusion when Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma blocked out England's last attempt to score, resulting in a 3-2 penalty victory for his team.
The moment marked Italy's first Euro Cup win since 1986, and served to — as the New York Times puts it — restore "the reputation of an Italian squad that had been humiliated five years ago when it failed to qualify for the World Cup."
Needless to say, Italians were thrilled (and the British, not so much).
If you can’t see the England-Toronto Maple Leafs comparisons, I don’t know what to tell you. pic.twitter.com/w0WMu9X737— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) July 12, 2021
In Toronto's Little Italy neighbourhood, expats, people of Italian heritage and plain old soccer fans of all stripes partied late into the night.
Coupola pops pic.twitter.com/OXkIwXXUSR— Three Geese Radius (@shawnmicallef) July 12, 2021
Cheers and fireworks could be heard all over the city for hours following Italy's big win.
Car horns similarly blared throughout the downtown core long after the game had ended.
Some in the city complained on Twitter about the noise and crowding, but many also seemed to enjoy watching the celebratory scene unfold, hailing it as a harbinger of the good times we can expect in Toronto this summer as pandemic restrictions lift.
"What a game!" tweeted Mayor John Tory, who took in the match from Café Diplomatico on College Street. "Congratulations Italy."
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