Rivaldo Exclusive: England have earned their place in Euro 2020 final

  • Rivaldo
  • 3:00 min read
Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo
Rivaldo is going for a narrow Italy win in the Euro 2020 final

Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo returns with his exclusive look ahead to Sunday's Euro 2020 final while also giving his thoughts on a huge Copa America trophy-decider...

"It's difficult to point to a winner since I see no clear favourite in this case, but I'm sticking with Italy on this one to win 2-1 in regular time."

The English national team will play their first Euros Final ever and I think they completely deserve it for such a committed campaign so far.

In my opinion, the Premier League is the best league in the world; despite a lot of foreign players there we must recognise that many English players benefit from that quality and competitiveness to being prepared for these big occasions with their national team.

Everybody loves to watch English football and also the Three Lions, so I'm happy to see all the joy generated to the country, and who knows if they are about to replicate it next year on the World Cup too.

Actually, I consider that reaching a final of a major competition - no matter if you win it or not - is a big boost for future tournaments because it allows you to believe it's possible to achieve big, so, I'm definitely seeing England and Italy as serious threats to Brazil in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Harry Kane awarded for his persistency and boldness

Tottenham's striker had a tough first half of tournament staying goalless in the group phase, but he managed to surpass it in style scoring four goals in the next three matches.

Harry Kane Celebrating - 1280.jpg

This is football and sometimes even if you are trying your best things simply don't run accordingly and it's important to keep calm and continue to do your best in those times. Kane is a fantastic player and must be congratulated for his campaign at the Euros.

Luke Shaw-berto is enjoying a solid tournament

Some press and fans are starting to compare Luke Shaw to Brazilian Roberto Carlos, but I always find it tough to compare players, especially when we talk about one of the greatest left backs ever.

Roberto Carlos was the second best player in the world in 1997, so, perhaps it isn't fair to make such comparisons, anyway, what I can say about Shaw is that he is doing a great job for the English team.

He is very quick and powerful going forward and crosses very well, so, he is becoming a very complete left back capable of doing all the important functions of that position.

Italy have been sensational after failing to qualify for 2018 World Cup

The world of football was astonished by Italy's failure in taking part in the 2018 World Cup, but they reacted brilliantly in Euro 2020, showing why they are a traditional nation with many good and talented players.

They've been sensational so far in eliminating Belgium and Spain and playing as a very strong collective team. It's tough to highlight any player because their main strength has been their spirit and bond.

Tough to deal with anxiety before a Final like this

From my experience, the toughest part of the days before the final is the growing anxiety with the match approaching. You start wondering about entering the stadium or lifting the trophy and those days are longer than the regular ones, so, it's important to handle that in the best way.

Trying to distract chatting with teammates, it's important to help relax a bit; your work is already done and prepared, and you only have to wait and try to have the mission accomplished on the match day.

This is the kind of match that can change your career, so, it's tough to remain calm before the match. But it's part of football and all the great players had to get used to it.

About my expectations for the final, it's difficult to point to a winner since I see no clear favourite in this case, but I'm sticking with Italy on this one to win 2-1 in regular time.

Huge Copa America Final with Brazil having slight advantage

We all saw this coming from the start of Copa America because Brazil and Argentina seemed to be some steps ahead of their opponents and, unless they had a bad day, this would be the most probable outcome.

Anyway, I consider Brazil as favourite because they play in their country and seem to have a stronger squad now. They've also been playing better than Argentina in the last few years.

Neymar Brazil 2021.jpg

But of course, it will be a match of great rivalry with both teams trying to prevent the other from lifting the trophy. On the Argentinian side, they have the extra motivation of having the chance to claim their first major title in 28 years and Lionel Messi will certainly do everything he can on the pitch to finally win a trophy with his national team.

From Brazil's perspective, Neymar also chases his first Copa America title and at the same time fire Brazil into the World Cup next year, but if they lose the match that might generate some criticism and close the current stability and confidence around the national team.

So, I'm expecting a very interesting match to follow, but I think Brazil has a bigger chance of winning the match and successfully defending the title they won in 2019 in the same stadium.

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