After missing a crucial penalty against Italy in the 2020 UEFA European Championship final, England star Bukayo Saka has finally broken his silence.
Marcus Rainsford, Jadon Sancho, and Saka all missed their spot-kicks during the penalty shootout in the final, and in that order, all three stars responded to the subsequent online abuse they received.
According to Metro, the trio were all subjected to racist abuse across social media platforms – with 12,500 abusive messages sent on Twitter alone, while a mural of Rashford in Manchester was defaced.
Saka said he instantly knew the type of abuse he would be subjected to after his miss, admitting that it has become a sad reality.
"I have stayed away from social media for a few days to spend time with my family and reflect on the last few weeks," Saka wrote on Instagram.
"This message won’t do it justice how grateful I am for all the love that I have received, and I feel that I need to thank everyone who has supported me."
"It was an honour to be part of an England squad that leads by example, they are brothers for life and I’m grateful for everything that I have learnt from every one of the players and staff who worked so hard."
"There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win."
Scroll through the gallery above to see the 10 best-performing players at Euro 2020, per UEFA