The Road to the Euro 2020

It’s finally time to pull on your England shirt and dig out your St George’s flag - Euro 2020 is here and the Three Lions’ new generation of young talent is ready to conquer Europe this summer.

Two England Match day shirts, one white and the other blue

After reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, England boss Gareth Southgate is eager to go one better and guide his country to their first major trophy since 1966.

Southgate’s squad is jam-packed with some of Europe’s finest young players, along with a sprinkling of experienced senior heads.

The England Squad for Euro 2020

The pandemic saw football replaced with face masks and social distancing when the tournament was postponed in summer 2020 - but for many of the Three Lions’ wonderkids, the 12-month delay has been a blessing in disguise. Many of them have been rewarded for fine domestic form with a place in Southgate’s final 26-man England squad.

A year ago, Manchester City’s Phil Foden - or the ‘Stockport Iniesta’ as he’s fondly known - was a baby-faced talent sitting on the City bench. Now he’s a Premier League and League Cup winner and looks set to take the Euros by storm with his seemingly never-ending box of tricks and flicks.

Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, has blossomed into a key member of a Borussia Dortmund side that reached the Champions League quarter-finals this season with a number of standout performances in the competition - not bad for a 17-year-old who only sat his GCSEs 12 months ago.

In Mason Mount, England have one of Europe’s most gifted youngsters who has added goals and assists to his game. Even better, Mount will be full of confidence having just led Chelsea to the Champions League title with a key assist in the final.

Those precocious talents will be guided by wise, battle-hardened heads. Harry Kane will lead the line for his country and will hope to be backed up by similarly-experienced players like Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire. Talented players including Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips are also set to show Southgate what they can do on Europe’s biggest stage.

Alongside all of this, the biggest story from the England squad announcement was the decision to include four right-backs, with Southgate clearly deciding that the sheer talent of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James was just too much to not be included.

The England squad for UEFA EURO 2020 in full:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford

Defenders: John Stones, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Tyrone Mings, Reece James, Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Kieran Trippier

Midfielders: Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham, Kalvin Phillips

Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka

The UEFA EURO around Europe

The tournament is to be hosted across 11 European cities, but 8 games will take place at Wembley, including all three of England’s Group D fixtures. Even better, they’ll be roared on by thousands of white jerseys belting out ‘God Save the Queen’.

UK COVID-19 rules will allow 25% of the stadium’s 90,000 capacity to be filled for group stage games and up to 45,000 fans could be allowed to attend the knockout fixtures, including both semi-finals and the final. The Three Lions will also be cheered on by millions of fans in pubs, bars and living rooms across the country.

A picture of Wembley Stadium

In It to Win It

But that doesn’t mean England will have it easy.

Scotland will be desperate to put a spanner in the works and get one over on their old rivals. In November, Steve Clarke’s side ended a 23-year wait to reach a major international tournament and they open their campaign against Czech Republic at Hampden Park before the big one at Wembley.

On Friday, June 18, England and Scotland will do battle in international football’s oldest fixture. The Three Lions will need more than talent to overcome the Scots. Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, Scott McTominay of Manchester United and Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney are blessed with quality and grit and will be licking their lips at the prospect of a 90-minute battle against many of their club team-mates.

Wales will also fancy their chances of making their mark on the Euros and stealing the spotlight from their UK rivals. In Gareth Bale and Daniel James, Wales have pace to burn and with Aaron Ramsey and Harry Wilson threading balls in behind, they have the goal threat to qualify from a favourable group that includes Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

There’s stars aplenty elsewhere at the Euros too, with favourites France calling on Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba, perennial challengers Germany boasting Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry, and star-studded Belgium sure to go far with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku in their ranks.

And who would forget a certain Cristiano Ronaldo? Holders Portugal will line up with the legendary striker, in addition to new heroes like Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias. Then there’s the small matter of Spain, who can rely upon Aymeric Laporte, Thiago Alcantara and Mikel Oyarzabal, among many others.

Euro 2020 is gearing up to be a memorable tournament for the home nations. Whoever you’re supporting, get your shirt on, make some noise and enjoy the ride.

Multiple nations Team kit hanging from a washing line outside