'We're here to win'
England boss Gareth Southgate says his side are ready to pit their wits against fellow EURO 2020 finalists Italy.
The Three Lions take on the Azzurri at Wembley Stadium in Sunday’s showpiece game, the first time our senior team have reached the European Championship final.
And they come up against a team who are unbeaten in 33 games and have impressed throughout EURO 2020.
"We're looking forward to the challenge,” said Southgate.
“It's a brilliant game to be involved in and to prepare for because we're playing a high-level opponent and they're tactically very good and have had a tremendous run.
“Roberto is an excellent coach and their results since he came in have shown that so it's another great challenge for us.”
England have enjoyed their home comforts throughout the competition, with only last weekend’s quarter final against Ukraine taking place away from Wembley, ironically at Italy’s Olympico Stadium in Rome.
And since Wednesday’s semi-final victory over Denmark, the support from around the country has built with the team coach given a good send off by roadside supporters leaving St. George’s Park and at their hotel in Hertfordshire and Southgate even received a letter from the Queen.
"We had a fabulous reception when we left St. George's, with people from the local villages lining the route and we got a real sense of what's going on outside the bubble that we're in,” added Southgate, who also revealed Phil Foden is a ‘doubt’ for Sunday’s game.
"It's been fantastic to have a letter from the Queen and a letter from the Prime Minister to all of the team.
“It's recognition that the players and the staff have gone about this in the right way.
"But it always comes back to tomorrow and we're in a final and we're here to win.
“It's important that we've represented people and we're pleased that legacy is there, but now we want to go and bring the trophy home for everybody.”
A wonderful welcome in London! 👋 pic.twitter.com/2hpIkb0MBw— England (@England) July 10, 2021
Meanwhile, Kane insists the players will remain focused on their target of winning the competition, something which they set out to do when they first came together to start their preparations back in May.
"We started this tournament with an aim to win it, and we now have that chance to do that,” he said.
"It’s just about staying calm and relaxed as you can and then just try to enjoy the moment when you’re out there.
“We have a real focus and determination in the group, and to knock down barriers in our country that have been there for a long time.
“We have a vision of where we want to be and we’re going about it in the right way.”
The striker is under no illusion as to the test which faces him, particularly with his personal challenge against Italian veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
"They're two amazing defenders, with great experience in their careers,” he said.
“I've been fortunate to play against them before and as a striker you want to play against the best centre-backs in the world and those two are up there.
"But this game is not about me and the two defenders, it's about England versus Italy and feel like we've got a great belief in the team and a great squad so there's a lot of things that can happen in a final and we need to make sure we're on the right side of it.”