Like many second-generation Italians living in Bedford, this Euros has been a particularly enjoyable and exciting time after a hard year.
Seeing both Italy and England performing at such a high level has been truly amazing. From Italy’s return to defensive dominance after years of struggles, through to England finally getting to the final through hard work, determination, and a touch of Sterling magic, we are set to see a great final representing two of Bedford’s biggest communities.
As has been tradition, at each stage of the Euros we have seen families and friends celebrating along the embankment and on the High Street, with communities coming together.
This is football at its best, bringing people together.
I would only ask that we keep that same positive spirit for the final regardless of who wins.
Let’s celebrate both teams and yes support your team passionately – in my particular case Italy – to the annoyance of some colleagues and friends.
But let’s not fall out, fight or turn Bedford into an ugly scene on Sunday. To England fans, if Italy wins, be happy for the Italian community despite your loss and you are welcome to join in the festivities.
And if England wins I and I hope other Italy supporters will do exactly the same and be happy for England fans across Bedford.
After all England is our home and particularly for second-generation Italians, we have built our entire lives here.
So please on Sunday let’s stay safe, have a great time, and may the best team win.
All that being said, Forza Azzurri!