Life

'I'd Prefer It If They Lost' – Scottish and Welsh People On England in the Euros Final

"I’m Italian for the next week."
July 9, 2021, 10:54am
raheem sterling
Photo: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

England has made it to its first major men’s football tournament final since 1966, as anyone who has opened their eyes over the last couple of days will be well aware of.

England supporters are obviously very happy about that – but what about the citizens of the UK’s other great nations? According to social media, and the front page of the Scottish Metro: not so much.

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We had a walk around the capitals of the two other UK countries that qualified for Euro 2020, Edinburgh and Cardiff, to ask their people: how would you feel about an England win?

SCOTLAND

LOUIS

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VICE: What do you think of England making it to the finals?
Louis: I think it’s absolutely terrible England are in the finals. Shocking. I wish Scotland had beaten them. I don’t like England. 

You’re from here in Edinburgh, right?
Yes.

You going to be watching the match?
I’m working. I’m rooting for Italy anyway. I’m Italian for the next week.

SUSAN

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How would you feel if England won the Euros final?
Susan: I’m not interested in the final at all – football is bad for heart attacks. I don’t mind who wins, as long as no one has a heart attack. I won’t be watching. I prefer women’s tennis.

Who do you want to win the tennis then?
Heather Watson now. I really like her, I do.

DAVID

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How would you feel if England won the Euros?
David:
I hope that England will win, and I think they might. I’m a diehard England supporter. I was born there, in Bedford, supported England all my life – brilliant team. Lived here over 40 years, since I was a kid, but England are the better team. It’s coming home! Although, “I Can Boogie” is a better song.

You must be a bit of a Scotland supporter to say that.
Well, a little bit. Only if they’re playing rugby.

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Who did you support in the England - Scotland match?
England, but in rugby always Scotland.

Will you be watching on Sunday night?
Course I will. I mean, where else would I be?

ALEXANDER

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How do you feel about the Euros final?
Alexander: [Laughs] I’m happy Italy’ll be in the final, I’m happy about Italy. 

But are you happy England’s in the final?
I’m happy for England as well, but I want Italy to win. 

You watching the match?
Yeah, I think it’ll be two-nil to Italy. I really wanted Scotland to win.

WALES

ALFIE

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VICE: England have made it to the Euro 2020 finals. How would you feel if they won?
Alfie:
I would feel happy for my English mates, because it does mean a lot to them. But I would be gutted because, if they did win, it would then mean years of inescapable English arrogance.

Fair enough. Would England winning be an easier pill to swallow if Wales had made it a bit further in the competition?
Even if Wales had made it to the semis, or even the final, I would still feel the same. Little old Wales is always disrespected by the English, no matter where we place [in competitions], so we always back the opposing team. As any good rival should.

Would you feel differently about the whole thing if it was rugby instead of football?
Oh no, not one bit. If anything, I want the English rugby team to succeed less. They have some very unlikeable squad members; the English football squad mostly seem to have really lovely players. 

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GRACE

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How would you feel if England won the Euros final?
Grace:
I would actually be devastated. I’m supporting Italy – from the off I’ve had a feeling that they were going to win, so I placed a bet. If England win, I’m down!

And no one wants that, do they? Do you normally not support England in sporting matches?
Usually I don’t. But to be completely honest with you, each game they’ve gone into, I’ve had a feeling that they were going to win. It’s not that I’m not supporting them, it’s just that I’d prefer it if they lost. 

Would it make any difference to your feelings if we were talking about rugby instead of football? 
I don’t care about rugby, to be honest. 

JAMES

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Hi, James. I can tell by your accent that I’m actually speaking to an English person.
James:
You are, yes.

A stranger in a strange land. How do you feel about Welsh people’s feelings towards England potentially winning the Euros on Sunday? Do you feel any negativity?
My best friend is Welsh, so I think I can kind of see it from their side. Historically, the sporting teams and fans have not got on, right? It’s a bit of a weird one. I guess you can’t change someone’s mind if they really don’t want someone to win.

I’m guessing you’re backing England to win. Does it offend you if a Welsh fan feels differently?
Not really, no. It doesn’t really affect me like that – it’s just sport. People are allowed their opinions, and like I said, you can’t change someone’s mind if it’s already made up. It’s just a trophy. They could both win another one another time!

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I like your confidence that Wales could win a footballing trophy. Are you sure you’re not just a tiny bit Welsh?
Nope, I do like Cardiff though, but maybe I shouldn’t be shouting my support for England too loudly. 

CONNOR

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England could win the Euros on Sunday. As a Welsh person, how do you feel about that?
Connor:
As a Welsh person, I should care, but even just as a person, I don’t care. Either way, I don’t think we would hear the end of it. Just let them have it, I say. 

When you say we’ll never hear the end of it, do you mean England fans will never stop going on about the win, or that Wales fans will never stop being a bit pissed off?
Nah, it’s definitely a mix of both. Welsh people can tend to get very bitter, but then the English will make [the win] their only personality trait for months on end. I just want to talk about something else, at the end of the day. 

Will you be watching the final? I’d ask who you’d support, but I think it’s clear it’s going to be Italy?
If I’m out, I’ll watch it. It’s part of the fun. I don’t follow [football] personally – I tend to get a bit bored. I’ll always support whoever’s playing against England, just because it’s part of my genetics, I think. Nothing personal. It’s funny to see how wound up they get over the result of a game.