Italy emerged as the winner of Euro 2020 and it was Gianluigi Donnarumma, who got them past the line against England in the penalty shootout. The young goalkeeper made two substantial saves in the nervy penalty shoot-outs and gave the Azzuri their second Euro title.
The contest had headed into penalty shootouts after two hours of football proved insufficient to determine a winner.
Donnarumma saved Bukayo Saka’s effort from the spot and calmly walked away from the scene. The rest of the Italian camp, however, went ballistic and engulfed the player of the tournament.
While it was initially assumed to be a part of the goalkeeper’s calm and stoic demeanor, he has clarified the reason behind not celebrating the save.
Donnarumma failed to keep track of the shootout
Following the win, the keeper admitted he felt Italy needed one more spot-kick to convert for the win. As a result, he was only heading towards his mark near the sidelines and vacating the goal for Jordan Pickford.
‘I didn’t celebrate because I didn’t realize we had won! I was already down after Jorginho’s missed penalty and I thought we had lost, but instead, I had to continue,” he said to Sky Sports Italia after the match.
The arrival of the Italian entourage to engulf him and the signal by the match official was needed for the keeper to realize that he had won.
Several believed that the shootout had not ended and even the interference of VAR was in question to check the keeper’s foot.
The young keeper will guard PSG’s sticks from now on
Donnarumma has enjoyed a splendid summer so far. At the club level, he helped AC Milan clinch a spot in the Champions League for the first time in several years.
Despite the achievement, he opted not to renew his contract with the Serie A giants, and instead chose to sign with PSG. The 22-year-old marks another recruit in PSG’s ambitious Champions League project that includes Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Achraf Hakimi.
He played a pivotal role in Italy’s Euro 2020 run as well. His clutch saves against Austria and Belgium kept them alive in the tournament. His expertise in penalty shootouts was on full display in the semi-finals and the finals of the competition. He claimed three saves across two shootouts to drive his nation to glory in addition to his 3 clean sheets. He also became the first goalkeeper since Peter Schmeichel in the 1992 edition to win Player Of The Tournament.
Sources claim that he will be a backup keeper initially to veteran Keylor Navas. The club currently have several goalkeepers under a contract which includes Alphonse Areola and Sergio Rico.