Euro 2020: Kieran Trippier salutes England’s winning Wembley experience

Kieran Trippier said Wednesday’s Wembley atmosphere was like nothing he had experienced in his career, but England’s calmness in the face of it was an important reason why they find themselves preparing for the country’s first European Championship final.

England were roared on by a passionate crowd of over 60,000, the biggest at a British sporting event since Covid-19 shut stadia nationwide in the spring of 2020.

What the supporters brought to the 2-1 extra-time semi-final win over Denmark on Wednesday was not lost on Atletico Madrid defender Trippier, whose career has also taken in loans at Barnsley.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“All the players have been playing without supporters for the last year and a half,” said the defender, who watched the first 115 minutes from the sidelines before joining the fray as a substitute. “Wednesday was like something I’ve never experienced before in football. The atmosphere, the national anthem, everything, and it never stopped.”

England's Kieran Trippier. Picture: AP/Alessandra Tarantino

Much as footballers appreciate playing in noisy and supportive atmospheres, it is not always easy to play with the calmness England showed as they plugged away in search of a winner, then saw the game out when Harry Kane scored it shortly before Trippier’s introduction.

“It’s all about experience and game management,” said Trippier. “Make no mistake, Denmark are a fantastic team but we’ve learnt so much over the years.”

Trippier felt Southgate’s words to the team at the end of 90 minutes were important.

“He told us we were in a good position, we were playing well and it was about being patient with the ball and without the ball,” he said. “We’ve got a brilliant team and Gareth was just so positive, as he is always is.

England's manager Gareth Southgate talks to his players on Wednesday night at Wembley. Picture: AP/Carl Recine

“He told us to keep the ball well and just be patient because our chances would come, and be brave.”

England now face Italy in Sunday’s final, also at Wembley in front of a similar Covid-restricted capacity.