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Euro 2020: Italy's Gianluigi Donnarumma Named Player of the Tournament

Gianluigi Donnarumma in action against England during the Euro 2020 final (AP)

Gianluigi Donnarumma in action against England during the Euro 2020 final (AP)

After his heroics between the sticks, he is the second goalkeeper to win the coveted award after Peter Schmeichel's crucial role in guiding Denmark’s victory in 1992.

Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was crowned Euro 2020‘s Player of the Tournament on Sunday. The 22-year-old starred in a second consecutive penalty shootout as Roberto Mancini’s men beat Gareth Southgate’s unit 3-2 on a spot kick after the teams were tied 1-1 after extra time in the final. After Marcus Rashford sent his penalty into the post, Donnarumma kept out Jadon Sancho’s effort, before making the winning save from Bukayo Saka to take the Henri Delaunay Trophy back to Rome.

Donnarumma and Italy did not concede in the group stage, however, they did let in a goal for the first time in the round of 16 match against Austria. In the semi-final against Spain, the 6’5" goalkeeper had also come up trumps against Spain by repelling Dani Olmo and Alvaro Morata’s spot kicks to take his side into the summit clash.

After his heroics between the sticks, he is the second goalkeeper to win the coveted award after Peter Schmeichel’s crucial role in guiding Denmark’s victory in 1992. This late-night personal accolade follows Donnarumma after he was named Serie A’s Best Goalkeeper. The shot-stopper helped AC Milan back into the Champions League after an eight-season hiatus.

Meanwhile, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford who was devastated after a shootout in which the Everton man’s save from Andrea Belotti put the hosts briefly up before the disappointments for Rashford, Sancho and Saka sealed the deal for the Azzurri.

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However, the 27-year-old’s inspiring efforts at this European Championship have earned him the Golden Glove after he kept five clean sheets, against Croatia, Scotland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine.

His closest competitors at the Euro 2020 were Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois and Donnarumma, who had kept three clean sheets each. Pickford was part of the Three Lions back-line, which was phenomenal throughout the Euros. The team hadn’t conceded a single goal till the quarterfinals of the tournament.

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first published:July 12, 2021, 14:51 IST