Jack Grealish has hit back at criticism from Roy Keane and has revealed he wanted to take a penalty during England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
England’s hopes of winning a first major tournament since 1966 were ended following a shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley, with the Azzurri crowned as champions of Europe for a second time.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed from the spot as Italy triumphed 3-2 in the shoot-out following a 1-1 draw after extra time, with former Manchester United midfielder Keane having criticised the decision to let Arsenal teenager Saka take the decisive kick.
Speaking on ITV, Keane questioned Grealish and Raheem Sterling for allowing the 19-year-old to step forward ahead of more experienced teammates, though Grealish has now hit back and insisted he volunteered himself to take a spot kick.
“I said I wanted to take one!!!!” the Aston Villa captain wrote on Twitter.
“The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won’t have people say that I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I will…”
I said I wanted to take one!!!!
The gaffer has made so many right decisions through this tournament and he did tonight! But I won’t have people say that I didn’t want to take a peno when I said I will… https://t.co/3mBpKyMoUV
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) July 12, 2021
England manager Gareth Southgate – who missed a crucial kick during a semi-final defeat to Germany at Euro ’96 – spoke following the defeat and insisted the blame should be placed on his shoulders and not those who missed.
“It is down to me,” Southgate said of the missed penalties.
“I decided on the penalty-takers based on what they have done in training.
“Nobody is on their own. We have won together as a team and it is on all of us together to not be able to win this game.
“In terms of penalties, it is my call and it totally rests with me.”