Gianluigi Donnarumma was Italy's hero as he saved from Bukayo Saka to clinch a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over England after a 1-1 draw in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Jordan Pickford saved two of Italy's spot-kicks, yet it was his counterpart who came up with the goods to clinch the Azzurri's second European Championship title.
It was a night that started so well for England, with Luke Shaw scoring the quickest goal in a Euro final.
Yet mounting Italy pressure told when Leonardo Bonucci scored midway through the second half, and after late substitutes Marcus Rashford hit the post and Jadon Sancho failed to beat Donnarumma in the shootout, Saka fell foul of Italy's goalkeeper as England suffered heartbreak on home soil.
It could hardly have started better for England.
Harry Maguire's sloppiness handed Italy a second-minute corner, but before the clock had ticked into the third, England struck.
Kieran Trippier – the sole change to England's starting XI – was released by Harry Kane and delivered a cross which Shaw volleyed in off the upright at the back post.
England might have had a second had Mason Mount managed to find Raheem Sterling, yet after withstanding a blistering 20 minutes, Italy had found their feet, and Federico Chiesa drilled just wide at the culmination of a typically powerful run.
Italy's probing picked up momentum after the restart, Pickford making a fine stop from Chiesa's crisp strike.
Their equaliser arrived with 23 minutes remaining, Bonucci tucking home after Pickford nudged Marco Verratti's header onto the post, becoming the oldest player to score in a Euro final in the process.
Bonucci almost turned provider moments later, a delicious ball over the top met by Domenico Berardi, who volleyed over.
Kalvin Phillips arrowed wide as England looked to exert some authority in extra-time, with Gareth Southgate turning to Jack Grealish to offer inspiration from the bench.
Jorginho was fortunate to see yellow for a rash challenge on Grealish, and it was Bonucci who missed the chance to prevent penalties when he headed wide from Federico Bernardeschi's corner.
It looked as though Jorginho's reprieve would punish England when he stepped up to take what could have been the winning spot-kick after Rashford had clipped the upright and Donnarumma denied Sancho, but Pickford – who had kept out Andrea Belotti's effort – made a brilliant stop.
Though England's hopes were dashed within seconds, youngster Saka unable to get past Donnarumma, who secured Italy’s first Euro triumph since 1968.