The National:

THE National’s readers are resoundingly supporting Italy in the Euro final, we asked them.

In a poll which is still live and can still be voted on, a massive 83% so far have said they’ll be cheering on Roberto Mancini’s Blues in Sunday’s game.

READ MORE: Poll: England or Italy - who will you be supporting in the Euro 2020 final?

We released a tongue-in-cheek front page referencing that, and the likelihood of having to hear about the time “football came home” for the next 55 years should England win.

The front page showed Mancini, the Italian manager who has overseen a record-setting 33-game unbeaten run, as Braveheart - and encouraged him to lead his team to victory against England.

The page has garnered a fair amount of reaction from all corners. In fact, "The National" is trending on Twitter, along with "Braveheart". 

However some of that attention is, to put it mildly, negative.

READ MORE: 'Hilarious': Italian media reacts to The National's Euros-Braveheart front

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart wrote: “How dare the English be happy about anything? There’s banter and then there’s just bitterness. I actually think that as Scots we are much better than this.”

Getting in on the action, The Sun’s Harry Cole said our front page was “sad really”.

“I would bloody love Scotland to win something”, he added.

Ignore the fact that his profile picture on Twitter has been changed to English wunderkind Phil Foden celebrating Harry Kane’s winning goal against Denmark, he actually supports Scotland.

Also ignore what that same newspaper printed about the Scottish national team in May: “Och aye the who?”

Thankfully not everyone took it quite so seriously.

Broadcaster Mark Dolan wrote: "Twitter, as always, misses the joke. Brilliant headline. top banter. Bravo @ScotNational"

Joking about many Scots’ shifting allegiance depending on who’s playing England next, one Neil Royce wrote: “Fair play to you guys for giving us a laugh and helping to break the tension as we await our appearance in The Final.

“Also a shoutout to you Scots for learning all those national anthems.”

Another quipped: “Scotland must be the only team who can go out in the group stage but somehow still continue to pick up losses. Quite impressive to be fair.”

One Mike Fay added: "Scotland fans have supported six different teams so far this tournament, and still haven’t seen a single victory! Billy Gilmour is the only positive result they’ve had so far!"

Dave Richardson, a self-professed England fan, wrote: “As an England fan I think this is brilliant!

“So many English fans getting butthurt because Wales, Scotland, Ireland etc aren’t supporting us…why would you? We are rivals! We don’t want each other to do well…end of.”

Pointing to the obvious irony on the page, Telegraph columnist Madeline Grant joked: “The National: ‘really wish they’d stop banging on about something that happened in 1966.’

“Also The National: ‘have some of that 1290s energy, you bastards!’”

The layers of irony run deep however, as the Telegraph’s front page today declared that “Southgate summons the warrior spirit of generations past”.

You really couldn’t make it up.

That front pages like the Telegraph's were exactly what we were taking aim at seems to have gone over more than a few heads.

Nevertheless, some people do actually seem to have understood what we were getting at. 

Ian Dunt, who is such an expert in being a liberal he even wrote a book telling others how to do it, isn't one of those people. 

Commenting on our front page, he wrote: "Just so cringe-worthy and pitiful."

Others pointed out to him what he had failed to see.

One account wrote: "You do realise this is a response to the constant and insulting insistance from the anglocentric media that Scotland and the other home nations should now be supporting England, with complete ignorance and ZERO understanding of why we don't?  

"My God, what fragile egos you have."

Others doing the mental gymnastics required to land on the conclusion that supporting Italy is actually Scottish nationalism seem to have ignored some quite obtuse nationalism south of the Border.

Not everyone on Twitter failed to point that out, sharing photographs of Boris Johnson and No10 (the home of the "UK" Prime Minister) covered in St George's Crosses.

The big game is on Sunday July 11 at 8pm. Remember it's just football, after all.

READ NEXT: 'Hilarious': Italian media reacts to The National's Euros-Braveheart front