There’s nothing more heartbreaking for a player than a cup final defeat, especially one that takes place in a European competition.
The only way to make up for such heartbreak is to go on and make amends for that loss by winning football matches again. Luckily, the Manchester United and Manchester City players representing their country at Euro 2020 have the chance to move on quickly, and the English players involved in those defeats seemingly already have.
That is according to their international manager, Gareth Southgate, who applauded the attitude the players have shown since they joined up with the England squad over the course of the past few days.
“They’ve been excellent,” said Southgate, when asked whether their disappointing experiences had transferred into training.
“The training sessions, all of the players have picked up immediately, don’t seem to have been any overhang.”
“The group is together socially, you see at dinner they’ve got back together with their teammates. If you didn’t know the games had taken place and weren’t looking for things, you didn’t know they’d have taken place.”
Both losses were tight affairs, with United falling short to Villarreal in an enthralling penalty shootout in Gdansk, and City narrowly losing to Chelsea by just the one goal in Porto. Sometimes, the fact that they were so close, coincided with the added intensity from playing in such a fixture, can be physically draining for a player and they may need some extra rest to recuperate.
However, it appears that Southgate’s players are ready to get going again, and the United players could be involved in England’s second warm-up game against Romania on Sunday – however City’s players will be given more time to recover from their trip to Porto.
“The boys in the Europa League final have been with us a bit longer. The others have reported a bit later, so I don’t think it would be right to put them in Sunday’s game.”
We’ll know by then if they have properly recovered, but the signs do look promising for England fans.