Divided loyalties for Leeds family torn between England and Italy in the Euros 2020 final

A Leeds family are facing a tough decision ahead of the Euros 2020 final - with one half supporting England and the other supporting Italy!

Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:45 am
Avid football fans Daniel Furniss, Italian wife Carlotta, and their children Francesca and Federico, are torn between who they want to win in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. Picture Tony Johnson
Avid football fans Daniel Furniss, Italian wife Carlotta, and their children Francesca and Federico, are torn between who they want to win in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. Picture Tony Johnson

Daniel Furniss, 41, and his wife Carlotta, 28, from West Park, will be on opposing sides this Sunday, as Gareth's Southgate's squad take on the Azzurri.

Lifelong Leeds United fan Daniel will be backing the England team, while Carlotta, who hails from Venice, will be supporting Mancini's side.

Their children, Francesca, six, and Federico, four, are even more conflicted, as they hold dual nationality and have so far been supporting both teams.

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The Furniss family are half English and half Italian. Photo: Tony Johnson

Schoolteacher Daniel said: "We're super, super excited. We're really big football fans.

"I've been a mad Leeds fan since I was a little boy and my wife is obviously Italian, so she is mad into football as well.

"We've got England and Italian shirts for the kids that they've worn for all the games, so on Sunday night, we're obviously a bit split, so maybe we'll have one kid in each.

"I'll be for England, and then the wife will be rooting for Italy and the kids will be going mental for both.

Bruno the dog is sitting on the fence. Photo: Tony Johnson.

"Win or lose for England I'll be gutted in a sense but then happy for the kids and the wife".

He added: "We're just trying to embrace it and make the most of it.

"I've been saying to my kids and the kids I work with that they have to make the most of it because, it might be 30, 40, 50 years before this happens again.

"They've got to enjoy it, make the most of it and celebrate, because this kind of thing doesn't normally happen."

The family, including dog Bruno, plan to have a "bit of a shindig" on Sunday, inviting some Italian friends round for some pizza - though Daniel added that he'll be buying some English beer to "level it out a bit".

He said although he's excited, the nerves are kicking in, as he believes the teams are quite evenly matched.

Daniel said: "They're both evenly placed out England and Italy - it's not like we're playing someone a bit rubbish or someone who's miles better than us.

"I think on paper, we're probably slightly better than the Italians, player for player.

"But the Italians have got that thing that we don't have in terms of they play more with their heads, they are more intelligent footballers and very game savvy, and know how to manage the situation and pressure, whereas for us it's stepping into the unknown a bit."

Although the family are supporting opposing sides, if there's one thing they are certain on, it's that the whole family is thrilled with Kalvin Phillip's performance.

Daniel said: "We're absolutely proud as punch of Kalvin because he's representing Leeds United and the whole city when he plays for England .

"He was man of the match for the first game which is just incredible, and practically played every single minute of every game since.

"Whenever he's on the ball is almost like seeing one of your extended family members, you just want them to do well.

"The kids are really into him, they've got the Kalvin posters on their wall.

"He's doing great and he's obviously such a nice fella with a lovely smile.

"He just makes you feel proud and represents the city well."