‘Poor Saka, I feel very sorry for him' – Mourinho - Euro 2020 final
Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has said that he feels sorry for Bukayo Saka after the Arsenal star missed a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy on Sunday night.
Mourinho also hit out at England’s senior players for allowing Saka to take a penalty against Italy.
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw gave England an early lead in the first half, but Italy was able to force extra time and penalties after Leonardo Bonucci equalised in the second half.
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Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were introduced a few minutes to the end of the second half extra-time for the purpose of the penalty shootout.
But both players missed their penalties, with Rashford being the first England player to miss his, as he sent Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way, but his effort struck the post.
Sancho and Saka also missed their spot-kicks which were all saved by Donnarumma to hand Italy the trophy.
But Mourinho believes a more experienced player could have shouldered the responsibility, not Saka.
Mourinho told TalkSport, “In this situation, where was Raheem Sterling? Where was John Stones? Where was Luke Shaw? Why didn’t Jordan Henderson or Kyle Walker stay on the pitch?
“I think it is too much for a kid [Bukayo Saka] to have everything on his shoulders in this moment, but I don’t know, I have to ask that question to Gareth because many times what happens is that players who should be there aren’t there, players who should be there, they run away from the responsibility.
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“And because I feel Gareth [Southgate] is such an honest guy and is so protective of his players, I don’t believe Gareth would ever say if ‘Player A’ or ‘Player B’ ran away or hid or said they were not ready to take one.”
He added: “In reality it is very, very hard for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to come and take a penalty after one touch on the ball.
“But for Saka to have the destiny of a country on his shoulders… I think it is too much.
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“Poor Saka, I just feel very sorry for him.”
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