Gareth Southgate tells England fans to intimidate Italy, but not boo the national anthem

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Gareth Southgate has told England fans to intimidate Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 Final – but pleaded with them not to boo their opponents’ national anthem.

Southgate wants Italy to be greeted by a daunting atmosphere at Wembley as the Three Lions aim to win their first trophy in 55 years.

But he has warned that booing the anthem – as has been the case throughout the tournament – may only inspire Roberto Mancini’s team.

Southgate said: “It is important that our fans always respect the opposition and we know that in actual fact when we play abroad and fans boo our anthem it probably inspires us even more, so I don’t think it will help the team.

“I think we can intimidate the team with the booing during the game, but it’s different for the anthem. I think we should be respectful.”

England are in their first final since winning the World Cup in 1966. And while Southgate’s team have already ensured their place in history, he is adamant that he wants more.

The team received letters of congratulations and good luck from the Queen and prime minister Boris Johnson ahead of the final – but Southgate says ending the nation’s long wait for a major trophy remains his sole focus.

“It’s been fantastic to have a letter from the queen, a letter from the prime minister to all of the team and the recognition that the players and all of the staff have gone about this in the right way,” said the England manager.

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“We had a fabulous reception when we left St George’s, all the local villages had come out and were lining the route and pulled over in laybys so you got more of a sense of what’s gone on outside of the bubble we’ve been in.

“But it always comes back to tomorrow, we’re in a final and we’re here to win. Everything is important how we’ve represented people and we’re pleased that legacy has been there but now we want to go and win the trophy for everybody.

“The players are ready, they are tactically aware, they are used to playing in these games and looking forward to it.

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“Over the last four years they’ve knocked down so many barriers, they’ve come through so many challenges, different ways to win matches, had to come back from being behind, had to go through extra-time, penalty shootouts, so their resilience and experience as a team has prepared them for this moment.”

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