11 Jul, 2024 @ 11:55
2 mins read

‘Winner gets Benidorm and Gibraltar’: Social media reacts to mouth-watering Euro 2024 final clash between Spain and England – as we ask who will YOU support on Sunday?

SPAIN and England will clash in a mouth-watering and highly-anticipated Euro 2024 final this Sunday after Gareth Southgate’s side prevailed over the Netherlands in dramatic fashion.

The Three Lions secured their route to Berlin’s showpiece finale via a 91st minute winner from Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, where they will face a Spain side widely cited by pundits as the tournament’s best side.

England have underwhelmed many throughout the tournament with a spate of underwhelming performances in spite of their burgeoning collection of world-class players, having relied on extra time to overcome both Slovakia and Switzerland.

But Wednesday night’s semi-final triumph, aided by a much-improved performance, means a first international major tournament final on foreign soil and a second consecutive Euros final for the side as they hope to secure a first trophy since 1966.

Fans took to social media to describe this weekend’s encounter as the ‘Battle for Benidorm’, in reference to the Costa Blanca party hotspot popular with British holidaymakers, while some Spanish supporters suggested that the winner should ‘get Gibraltar’, the tiny British Overseas Territory positioned on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsular which has long generated political tension between the two countries. 

READ MORE: BREAKING: Spain through to Euro 2024 final after 2-1 win over France

The match may be a test of loyalties for the thousands of English-born expats living in Spain – or alternatively, it could be viewed as a guaranteed win.

England fans may be optimistic given that the last clash between the two teams – a 2018 Nations League tie in Sevilla – ended 3-2 in the Three Lions’ favour, although Spain have a worryingly formidable record in finals.

In international and club finals, Spanish sides are unbeaten in 22 attempts since 2001.  

Hundreds of thousands of supporters from both England and Spain are expected to descend on the German capital this weekend ahead of the match, which will take place at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

The ground, built for the 1936 Olympics famed for Jesse Owens’ athletic prowess in front of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, last hosted an international final for the 2006 World Cup, a match overshadowed by Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt.

England will hope that Jude Bellingham, who has inherited Zidane’s former No.5 shirt at Real Madrid, will not follow in those footsteps, but rather guide his nation towards glory.

Conversely, Spain will be placing their hopes in Lamine Yamal, the prodigiously talented 16-year old sensation who has taken the footballing world by storm at this tournament.

Yamal even received plaudits from a fellow world-class youth sporting talent – the 17-year old English darts player, Luke ‘the Nuke’ Littler, took to social media to post a meme that inferred that Yamal had taken inspiration from Littler’s own journey which saw him reach the PDC Darts World Championship final aged just 16 and win the Premier League earlier this year.

The Barcelona star was lauded for a stunning, bending strike from 25 yards on Tuesday which helped La Roja to beat pre-tournament favourites France and continue their impeccable tournament run which has included cruising through the so-called ‘Group of Death’, featuring Italy, Croatia and Albania, and defeating hosts Germany in the quarter-finals. 

All this sets the scene for a thrilling match on Sunday which will see football either ‘come home’ as England secure a first major tournament since the 1966 World Cup, or Spain secure a record-breaking fourth Euros victory.

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