Bukayo Saka has made history by becoming the youngest English player to start a match at the semi-final stage or later in a major tournament.
Saka missed the 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine on Saturday’s quarter-final due to a minor injury, but impressed in his two starts of the tournament so far against the Czech Republic and Germany.
Saka returned to starting line-up for England on Wednesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark as Gareth Southgate’s men reached the first major tournament final in 55 years.
However, Saka repaid Southgate’s faith in him by delivering a vibrant display in the last-16 victory against Germany before missing Saturday’s quarter-final win against Ukraine with a minor knock suffered in training.
Jadon Sancho impressed in Saka’s absence, but Southgate opted to recall the youngster rather than keeping Manchester United’s new signing in the starting line-up.
Any doubts that Southgate had made the wrong call by dropping the more experienced Sancho were erased by Saka in the 39th minute.
The Arsenal star, who had the opportunity to represent Nigeria on the national stage stated that England’s bright future led to his decision to go with The Three Lions.
“I feel like I’m really, really proud of my Nigerian heritage,” said Saka, according to Metro UK.
“I always still watch Nigeria’s games where I can and I wish them all the best and support them all the way.
“But I’ve seen the process of how England are transforming and I think in the future they’re going to do great stuff. I feel like it was right for me to choose England.
“My dad was born here, my mum was born in Nigeria, but they both grew up in Nigeria and met each other in Nigeria.
“They came over and when they came to England it wasn’t easy for them because obviously, it’s a new country. It’s really cold for them!
“But they adapted well, and as soon as they had me and my brother, they always left everything out the way and put us first.
“Especially my football career, my dad always pushed me, he took me to training on days where sometimes it would take two hours to get to training, so I’ll always be so grateful for my parents for the work they’ve done for me.”