Gareth Southgate spoke from the heart in an emotional post-match interview after leading England to a first knockout victory over Germany for 55 years.
Goals fromRaheem SterlingandHarry Kanelate in the second halfsecured England’s qualification to the quarter-finalsin front of 45,000 passionate fans at Wembley.
It was a huge win for the Three Lions against a nation who have caused them so much heartache and hurt over the years.
Southgate experienced that more than anyone else when he missed the decisive spot-kick in the Euro 96 semi-final against Germany and Tuesday’s triumph brought him some redemption.
Humanly beautiful this. As a player, Gareth Southgate missed penalty in Euro 96 semi-final shoot-out loss to Germany. Today, as manager, he led England to first Tournament win against their rivals since 1966. Many doubt his tactics but his empathy is elite pic.twitter.com/VXqXoxEyxY
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) June 29, 2021
Redemption. What a man. pic.twitter.com/bPtlriwTnq
— Dino Sofos (@dinosofos) June 29, 2021
The England boss gave a wonderful interview to the BBC after the result and reflected on that penalty miss 25 years on.
“I’m just so pleased,” Southgate said.
“I was looking at the big screen and I saw Dave Seaman up there and you know, for the team-mates that played with me I can’t change that [the ’96 penalty] so that’s always going to hurt.
“But what’s lovely is we’ve given people another day to remember and now we’ve got to go and do it in Rome.”
After the interview, Gary Lineker asked fellow England great Alan Shearer if he had forgiven Southgate for the miss, to which he replied: “Oh I did that years ago.”
Southgate has been criticised for his tactics but when you watch the interview, you cannot accuse him of not knowing what this means for the country.
“We were playing a team with four World Cup winners, a manager who has had an incredible career with Germany,” Southgate commented, as perSky Sports.
“I have huge respect for what he’s done.
“We know there have always been questions about us against big teams and we knew Germany, with their experience, would dictate certain parts of the game.
“We will always have passion and heart but we also had brains. We pressed at the right moment, the forwards picked the right moments to go and stay, we found a balance of being brave with the ball and keeping possession in our own half and right moments to go quickly and counter. That was a real step forward for us.”