Manchester United’s new signing Jadon Sancho was one of the three players to miss a penalty for England during Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.
In the aftermath, Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were on the receiving end of racist abuse from England fans. Some went as far as vandalising Rashford’s mural in Withington which was met with people offering their love and support for the players.
Sancho has taken to social media to reflect on his state of mind over the past few days, the racism he suffered and his hopes for the future.
I’ve had a couple of days to reflect on Sunday’s final and still feel a mix of emotions. I would like to say sorry to all my teammates, coaching staff and most of all the fans who I let down. This is by far the worst feeling I’ve felt in my career. It’s hard to even put into words the real feeling, but there were so many positives to take away from this tournament though the defeat will hurt for a long time.
My first thought before going into any football match is always ‘how can I help my team? How am I going to assist? How am I going to score? How am I going to create chances? And that’s exactly what I wanted to do with that penalty, help the team. I was ready and confident to take it, these moments you dream of as a kid, it is why I play football. These are the pressured situations you want to be under as a footballer. I’ve scored penalties before at club level, I’ve practiced them countless times for both club and country so I picked my corner but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.
We all had the same ambitions and objectives. We wanted to bring the trophy home. This has been one of the most enjoyable camps I’ve been part of in my career so far, the togetherness of the team has been unmatched, a real family on and off the pitch.
I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game, but sadly it’s nothing new. As a society we need to do better and hold these people accountable. Hate will never win. To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream.
I am proud of this England team and how we have united the whole nation in what has been a difficult 18 months for so many people. Much as we wanted to win the tournament, we will build and learn from this experience going forward. I want to say a massive thank you for all the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative. I have no doubt we’ll be back back even stronger!
Sancho completed his medical at the club yesterday and signed the paperwork. The unveiling is imminent.