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Ben Stokes calls England footballers ‘absolute legends’ and backs them to win major trophies in future

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England all-rounder Ben Stokes bounced back from heartbreak in a major final to triumph in another one and is tipping England’s footballers to do the same after their agonising defeat at Wembley; Stokes says nation engrossed by run to Euro 2020 final under “incredible” Gareth Southgate

England lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday night

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England lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday night

Ben Stokes has described England’s Euro 2020 squad as “absolute legends” and backed Gareth Southgate’s side to come back strong from their Wembley heartache on Sunday night and experience more “big occasions”.

England were beaten 3-2 on penalties by Italy in their first major final in 55 years, with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missing spot-kicks in the shootout.

Stokes knows all about bouncing back from misery in a crunch final, playing a key role in England’s cricketers winning the 2019 50-over World Cup at Lord’s, having been hit for four successive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite three years earlier as West Indies stunned England to claim the T20 World Cup.

    England suffer penalty heartbreak in Euro 2020 Final

On England’s footballers, all-rounder Stokes said: “They will be absolutely devastated and it will probably hurt for a few more weeks.

“But I’m sure once they get over it and have an understanding of what they are able to achieve there will be more big occasions to come for those guys, no doubt.

Ben Stokes  helped England to the 50-over Cricket World Cup crown at Lord's in 2019 Ben Stokes helped England to the 50-over Cricket World Cup crown at Lord’s in 2019

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“They are such a young team full of talent that the sky is the limit for them.

“They have so many more years, so many more tournaments to go and prove themselves in, so much time to win trophies for England.

“In my eyes and everyone else’s eyes in our changing room, they are absolute legends already.

“The nation has been completely captured by what they have done on the field and what they have managed to achieve is incredible.

Stokes has suffered anguish in the 2016 T20 World Cup final as Carlos Brathwaite's four successive sixes off him won the tournament for West Indies in the final over Stokes has suffered anguish in the 2016 T20 World Cup final as Carlos Brathwaite’s four successive sixes off him won the tournament for West Indies in the final over

“Everyone in the nation would have loved to see England win but just watching the games you feel a real connection to the team in the way Gareth has led and the way he speaks. I think he has been phenomenal in everything he has done.

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“As a national team in another sport, we are incredibly proud of what they have done.

“Never has an England team been so exciting to watch – I am not massively into my football like some of our lads are but I have watched this team every time they have walked onto the field.”

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