Jadon Sancho has written a lengthy and emotional statement addressing his penalty miss in England’s defeat by Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final and the racist abuse that sadly followed.
Sancho was brought on by Gareth Southgate in the final moments of extra-time to take a penalty in the shoot-out at Wembley.
But alongside Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka, the 21-year-old winger could not find the back of the net.
Despite two saves from Jordan Pickford, England were beaten 3-2 on penalties after the 1-1 draw to finish as the tournament’s runners-up.
In the aftermath of the defeat, England’s three young penalty-takers were targeted by cowardly racists online.
Their treatment by a minority of the public has triggered an outpouring of support from the wider footballing community and sparked a debate over how to deal with racism on social media.
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“My first thought before going into any football match is always “How can I help my team?, how am I going to assist ? how am I going to score ? how am I going to create chances ? And that’s exactly what I wanted to do with that penalty, help the team.
“I was ready and confident to take it, these are the moment’s you dream of as a kid, it is why I play football. These are the pressured situations you want to be under as a footballer. I’ve scored penalties before at club level, I’ve practiced them countless times for both club and country so I picked my corner but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.
“We all had the same ambitions and objectives. We wanted to bring the trophy home.
This has been one of the most enjoyable camps I’ve been part of in my career so far, the togetherness of the team has been unmatched, a real family on and off the pitch.
“I’m not going pretend that I didn’t see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game, but sadly it’s nothing new. As a society we need to do better, and hold these people accountable.
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“Hate will never win. To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream.
“I am proud of this England team and how we have united the whole nation in what has been a difficult 18 months for so many people.
“Much as we wanted to win the tournament, we will build and learn from this experience going forward. I want to say a massive thank you for all the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative.
“It’s been an honour as always representing England and wearing the Three Lions shirt, and I have no doubt we’ll be back even stronger! Stay safe & see you soon.”
This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport