Jadon Sancho has revealed that his penalty miss for England was ‘by far the worst feeling’ he’s had in his career, and also called for those who have subsequently racially abused players to be held accountable.
Euro 2020 came to an agonising conclusion on Sunday as England were defeated in the final by Italy at Wembley on penalties.
Sancho, who is set to be announced as a new Manchester United player this week, was brought on towards the end of extra-time in order to take a spot-kick.
However, the 21-year-old saw his effort saved which put Italy in the ascendancy and he has now responded to his agonising miss.
“I’ve had a couple of days to reflect on Sunday’s final and still feel a mix of emotions,” Sancho wrote on Instagram.
“I would like to say sorry to all my teammates, coaching staff and most of all the fans who I let down.
This is by far the worst feeling I’ve felt in my career. It’s hard to even put into words the real feeling, but there were so many positives to take away from this tournament though the defeat will hurt for a long time.
“My first thought before going into any football match is always “How can I help my team?, how am I going to assist? how am I going to score? how am I going to create chances? And that’s exactly what I wanted to do with that penalty, help the team.
“I was ready and confident to take it, these are the moments you dream of as a kid, it is why I play football. These are the pressured situations you want to be under as a footballer.
I’ve scored penalties before at club level, I’ve practised them countless times for both club and country so I picked my corner but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.
“We all had the same ambitions and objectives. We wanted to bring the trophy home.
“This has been one of the most enjoyable camps I’ve been part of in my career so far, the togetherness of the team has been unmatched, a real family on and off the pitch.”
Sancho’s soon to be club teammate Marcus Rashford and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka also missed from the spot and in the aftermath, all three have been subjected to disgusting racist abuse.
The winger has called for society to ‘do better’.
“I’m not going pretend that I didn’t see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game, but sadly it’s nothing new,” he continued. “As a society we need to do better, and hold these people accountable.
“Hate will never win. To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream.
I am proud of this England team and how we have united the whole nation in what has been a difficult 18 months for so many people.
“Much as we wanted to win the tournament, we will build and learn from this experience going forward. I want to say a massive thank you for all the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative.
“It’s been an honour as always representing England and wearing the Three Lions shirt, and I have no doubt we’ll be back even stronger! Stay safe & see you soon.”