England

Kalvin Phillips reveals Andrea Pirlo message a day before Euro 2020 final

Toby Cudworth
Kalvin Phillips was a prominent figure in England's run to the Euro 2020 final
Kalvin Phillips was a prominent figure in England's run to the Euro 2020 final / Lars Baron/GettyImages
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England midfielder Kalvin Phillips has revealed he received a good luck message from AC Milan, Juventus and Italy legend Andrea Pirlo a day before the Euro 2020 final.

Phillips was an integral part of Gareth Southgate's side during the tournament, blossoming alongside West Ham captain Declan Rice in a formidable midfield duo.

The Three Lions enjoyed a superb run through to the final, but were ultimately unable to get the job done at Wembley as Italy emerged victorious in a penalty shootout - extending England's run without a major international trophy beyond 55 years.

Phillips has long been referred to as the 'Yorkshire Pirlo' by fans of his club side, Leeds United, and he's now revealed that he received a message from the legendary midfielder himself a day before the Euro 2020 final - sincerely wishing him all the best even though he was about to face Italy.

"It's always nice to get the recognition of some unbelievable players," Phillips said, quoted by the Telegraph. "The night before the final Jack Harrison, who used to play at New York City with him, sent me a video of Pirlo.

"It was a video to me saying 'good luck in the final and he wishes me all the best' so that was very nice.

"It was a very nice feeling and obviously I thought it was going to say something about Italy but, no, he wished me well - full respect for that. I just got the video and I was like 'oh my God'. I've never met him, I'd like to meet him to be honest. I've seen that is a very cool guy, but I've heard he's a nice guy as well.

"To have someone on the other side, on the other team, wish you well and especially a player like that, it is always a great feeling."

Kalvin Phillips
Phillips after England's win over Denmark in the semi-finals / Justin Tallis - Pool/GettyImages

Phillips was named England’s Men’s Player of the Year for 2020/21 for his consistent performances, form which he admitted has raised his profile to the extent of being regularly stopped for autographs - something he'd been largely unaccustomed to previously.

“It’s been a good year. Obviously, I didn’t expect to be in an England shirt, never mind doing this well,” Phillips continued. “I live in Leeds and they call me the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’. I’m a big Leeds fan and I have a lot of people coming up to me for autographs and stuff.

“But now it happens when I travel somewhere else. I travelled to London a few weeks ago by train and there were people at the station asking for photographs.

“It was a bit strange. I used to be able to go under the radar – but not anymore. I don’t mind. It’s part of the job and it’s part of my success and the team’s success. It means I’m doing something right,

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