(Reuters) – Gary Neville called for a national celebration after England reached a major final for the first time in 55 years with a 2-1 win over Denmark at Euro 2020 on Wednesday.
Former players and TV pundits were full of praise for Gareth Southgate’s side, who have the chance to add another trophy to England’s 1966 World Cup after beating the Danes in extra time.
“We have never done this before in our lifetimes,” former England defender Neville said on ITV. “We have had so much pain, so much dismay and so much let-down, and now we are going to a final.
“For the next few days those lads have got to focus, but we don’t have to. This country is absolutely bouncing. National holiday, enjoy yourselves.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker said it had “been a long time coming”.
“It’s finally happened. I was doubting I’d ever see it again in my lifetime at one point,” Lineker added.
Geoff Hurst, England’s hat-trick hero from the 1966 final, applauded the team’s “fantastic” result.
“Wow! We’re in the final. Brilliant game. Well done England. Fantastic,” Hurst tweeted, adding the hashtag ‘Football’s Coming Home’.
Former England midfielder Karen Carney described Southgate’s squad as “a family” after they celebrated the win in front of almost 60,000 fans at Wembley.
“They are absolutely all together in this moment. I have got goosebumps,” Carney said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
England will face Italy in Sunday’s final.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)