Mattarella to watch Italy face England at Wembley

  ROME - The Quirinal Palace has confirmed that the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, will be travelling to London to watch Italy play England Sunday in the final of the Euros.

  The decision was announced in the late hours of Thursday, after taking into consideration all the health precautions. The alternative would have been Prime Minister Mario Draghi flying to London, as the presence of a representative of the country was never in doubt, but Mattarella was chosen at the last minute.

  The presence of the President at a major tournament final will no doubt remind many Italians of the famous appearance of Sandro Pertini at the 1982 World Cup final in Madrid. A highly popular president, he was lauded for attending the match, in which Italy beat Germany 3-1, seemingly as a fan not a politician. He famously wagged his finger at the German contingent as if to stay you can't catch us anymore, after Italy scored their third goal.

  He was also pictured playing cards on the plane with coach Enzo Bearzot, players Dino Zoff and Franco Causio and the World Cup trophy.




(l-r) Dino Zoff, Franco Causio, Sandro Pertini and Enzo Bearzot