As England cast aside years of penalty kick anguish at the World Cup on Tuesday, no person on the pitch likely felt better than England manager Gareth Southgate. Why? Because he was once directly on the receiving end of those so-painful moments.
During England’s match against Germany in the semifinals of the Euro 1996, Southgate took the decisive penalty kick in a shootout and delivered a painful miss. That left the door open for Germany to take the match and the tournament a few days later. It was one of the brutal moments that defined England on the international stage for years.
You can almost see the pain of that moment leave Southgate as he celebrates England’s win over Columbia.
That's why am so relieved my kids experienced Shoot Out live. We witnessed a man Fail, process his agony, use it for force of good. This is the Gift of Resiliency and Tenacity. The greatest human traits, making Southgate's quotes Words of Wisdom to live by that Transcend Football pic.twitter.com/OtVnICTK0c
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) July 4, 2018
However, as England has well known in the past, there is always a flip side to the elation of a penalty kick win. Southgate made sure his opponents didn’t go through it without acknowledging them. As his team celebrated, Southgate comforted Colombian midfielder Mateus Uribe, echoing his own embrace with then-English manager Terry Venables 22 years ago.
This photo pretty much sums Gareth Southgate up. Great pic. pic.twitter.com/DSA24Vu06L
— Julian Bennetts (@julian_bennetts) July 3, 2018
Those are the kind of moments that define the spirit of international play: members of two nations finding a connection through sports.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• LaVar Ball guarantees two LA Lakers championships
• Paul George says he wanted to come to Lakers before OKC trade
• Joey Chestnut sets world record by eating 74 hot dogs
• Leonard Fournette helps LSU senior pay for tuition