Scottish newspaper The National urges Italy win with cheeky front-page mock-up – here’s how people reacted
Herald & Times

The England men’s football team are playing in their first tournament final since 1966 tomorrow night, with the nation urging the squad to – you’ve guessed it – bring it home.

However, it appears some of those north of the border are less than enthusiastic about a potentially historic win for England against Italy.

Step forward pro-Scottish independence newspaper The National, which made their feelings abundantly clear with a very cheeky front page for Saturday’s issue.

The Glasgow-based paper used an image of Italian manager Roberto Mancini superimposed onto William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson in the1995 film, Braveheart. Wallace triumphed over the English in the late-13th century.

“Save us Roberto, you’re our final hope,” the headline read. At the bottom in brackets, the paper referenced England’s last final win at the 1966 World Cup: “We can’t take another 55 years of them banging on about this.”

Even the “O” in The National at the top is filled in green, white and red – the colours of the Italian flag.

Of course, the bold front page caused a stir on Twitter.

Some England fans were less than impressed, with some even branding it as “bigotry.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray slammed the newspaper, describing the front page as “blatant anti Englishness” and “totally embarrassing.”

Though others – even some English fans – were able to find the humour in them wanting England to lose, with some describing it as “tongue in cheek”.

Italians also shared their appreciation for the Scottish support ahead of the match.

But, some Scots also criticised The National’s spread, noting that it doesn’t reflect the views of the whole nation.

Elsewhere, others pointed out the irony of the paper moaning about still having to listen to England’s 1966 win when the front page is of Wallace – who died a very long time ago.

Either way, it’s a good publicity stunt – and will no doubt have people talking about it for some time to come.

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