sport news Euro 2020: How England became more streetwise -from Kane's free-kicks to ...

sport news Euro 2020: How England became more streetwise -from Kane's free-kicks to ...
sport news Euro 2020: How England became more streetwise -from Kane's free-kicks to ...

Getting over the line, not how, is really all that matters. The pandemonium that ensued at Wembley after the final whistle on Wednesday night is testament to that.

No one will remember Harry Kane and Jack Grealish winning countless free kicks for their team over the course of 120 minutes.

No one will remember Raheem Sterling’s rather theatrical crash to the ground to win England’s decisive penalty.

Harry Kane won his team countless free-kicks against Denmark

Jack Grealish was just as effective at drawing fouls from the opposition

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Harry Kane and Jack Grealish won countless free-kicks for England against Denmark

Raheem Sterling's theatrical crash to the ground earned his team a decisive penalty

Raheem Sterling's theatrical crash to the ground earned his team a decisive penalty

No one will remember England stringing together a total of 54 uninterrupted passes for a period of 2 minutes and 41 seconds deep into the extra time, visibly resisting the the urge to score a third, to see out this country’s most significant victory in a football match in 55 years.

The emotional scenes of England players and staff, in unison with 52,000 jubilant supporters, singing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline amid crazed celebrations — everyone will remember that.

Being streetwise isn’t something that necessarily comes easy to the English.

Being streetwise doesn't come naturally but the team have improved in recent years

Being streetwise doesn't come naturally but the team have improved in recent years

We frown upon footballers with the audacity to gain free kicks, run down the clock or, God forbid, win an unwarranted penalty under minimal contact. It’s never been the English way.

But while we were turning our noses up, our rivals were winning.

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Diego Maradona circa 1986. Diego Simeone circa 1998. Ricardo Carvalho, with a little help from Cristiano Ronaldo, circa 2006.

Generally, in professional sport, nice guys finish second — or in England’s case in the group stages or last 16.

Times are changing, though. Thankfully, under Gareth Southgate our national team has cottoned on.

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