LUCIA Campanella will be smiling and cheering whatever the outcome of Sunday’s European Championship final.

The proud Italian admits having split loyalties as she has spent much of her life living in England.

Lucia’s family moved to Essex when she was 18 months old, in 1957.

She then moved back to her native country in 2000 and spent 16 years working as an English teacher near Trieste, during a period in which she experienced Italy winning the 2006 World Cup.

Travel agent Lucia is now back in north Essex and lives with husband Steve Race, 64, in Harwich.

“If I’m completely honest, I feel more English than Italian,” said the 65-year-old.

“But I support and love both teams, so guess I’ll be smiling whatever the outcome.

“Part of me will be happy whoever wins and I put something on Facebook on Wednesday night saying ‘it’s coming home either way’.


“It’s going to be a great final between two very good teams.

“The best sides in the tournament have got through to the final and it’s going to be a special occasion.”

While having an affinity with both sides, Lucia, who works for Designer Travel, admits it will be surreal watching the drama unfold at Wembley on Sunday.

“Part of me was hoping only one team would get through, so I wouldn’t have split loyalties,” she said.

“I was living out there when Italy won the World Cup in 2006. It was unbelievable.

“The following night we went to watch the Rolling Stones in concert at the San Siro Stadium, in Milan.

“The Italian players all came out on stage and everyone went absolutely mad.

“While I love England, I’m very proud of my Italian heritage.

“It’s a stunning country - arguably the most beautiful in the world - and I still go out there every year because I have a house on the coast, near Trieste.”