Gareth Southgate is under consideration for a knighthood on the New Year's Honors list, according to reports.
The England manager guided his side to the final of the Euro 2020 tournament. The Three Lions had an impressive run, conceding only two goals in the entire competition. They eventually lost to Italy in the final after a tense penalty shootout.
Gareth Southgate's achievements come on the back of the success he enjoyed in the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup. The former Aston Villa player took a young English team to the semifinals in Russia before losing to Croatia in extra time. Southgate initially managed Middlesborough and then the England men's U21 side before taking over the reins of the men's national team.
It has been reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is extremely happy with the performance of the national team. Here's what he had to say post their defeat to Italy in the final:
"They made history. They lifted our spirits and they brought joy to this country — and I know they will continue to do so. Like millions of people across this country I woke up sad and rueful but also filled with pride and hope. And with thanks to Gareth Southgate and the whole England squad for the best campaign by any England team in any tournament that I can remember."
Gareth Southgate backed by PM Boris Johnson for knighthood
The support of the Prime Minister will reportedly aid the process of getting Gareth Southgate nominated for the knighthood award next year. A senior in Downing Street said:
“There’s a process to go through but Gareth’s achievements have been incredible. He’s brought the country together in an amazing way. The PM would certainly be supportive of a knighthood.”
As for the English manager himself, Southgate maintained his decorum after a painful loss to Italy. He said:
“I don’t want to commit to anything longer than I should and I never want to outstay my welcome. I’d want to be taking the team to Qatar. I feel we’ve made progress in four years. It’s probably as good as any team in Europe bar those who won the tournaments themselves.”
This is the second time he has had to endure a painful penalty shootout defeat for England in a major international competition. Back at the 1996 Euros, Southgate missed a penalty himself in the shootout during the semifinal against Germany. However, the England manager put up a brave front and backed his young team to deliver in the future. Gareth Southgate said:
"When you’re so close, it’s more painful — it feels like my stomach has been ripped out. But our young ones are two, four years from peaking. This team can go again, no doubt about it."