Euro 2016: England, 50 years of hurt
The 2016 UEFA European Football Championships are underway in France. With the competition extended to 24 teams, Euro 2016 promises a longer tournament, with several sides making their grand debut. Cafébabel gives you a run down of a few of the national sides, covering the general mood, some quick predictions and even current fashion trends. We kick off with perennial underachievers England.
Setting the scene
One of the youngest squads at Euro 2016, and one that played England’s best 45 minutes of tournament football since 2004 in the opening match against Russia in the southern city of Marseille. However, despite the optimism that precedes every international tournament, England will forever remain England. The Three Lions conceded a last-minute goal to draw 1-1 with the Russians.
Then there’s the violence – a combination of a large number of Englishmen, Russians, FC Marseille ultras and the French police, already on edge after last year's terror attacks, though perhaps overzealous in their use of tear gas. It made for ugly scenes in the opening weekend of the competition.
Will it all end in tears?
It could all be over in the second group match against neighbours Wales on Thursday the 16th of June in the northern French city of Lens. Wales, in their first international tournament since 1958, and led by Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive player, won their opening match 2-1 against Slovakia. If not, a quarterfinal exit is quite the English tradition.
How are they passing the time?
Based in a £500-a-night hotel in Chantilly, north-east of Paris, the England team aren't far away from a luxury spa and two Michelin-starred restaurants. However, they’ll probably be staying in their rooms, glued to their iPads and TVs. Or maybe they’re weighing up the pros and cons of Brexit? If they do begin to miss home comforts, they can wander down the road to Chantilly’s very own "English Shop" to pick up supplies of Marmite, scones and Earl Grey tea bags.
From the third division of English football to a starter in the national team at the age of 20, Bamidele "Dele" Alli has had a meteoric rise. The young Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has an edge to his game and is known for scoring spectacular goals. Football great Sir Alex Ferguson called him one of the best English players he's seen since Paul Gascoigne, another veritable "cheeky chappie". Most importantly, his wave game rivals that of the Queen.
The heads of the pack
Hover over the players' heads to discover the latest haircare trends.
The Big Debate
Where does England captain and all-time top goalscorer Wayne Rooney fit in the starting eleven? After strikers Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane scored 49 goals between them last season, he’s not a forward. Is he England’s No. 10 ahead of rising star Delle Alli? England manager Roy Hodgson eventually played Rooney in a deeper midfield role against Russia, and the Manchester United man did well, but he might not be the solution against better sides.
What you’ll hear about England
Away from the football, there’s this: Hayder al-Khoei, a British-Iraqi and research director at the Centre for Academic Shi'a Studies, decided to report the football violence in Marseille as the media would report conflict in the Middle East.
20 years of the Euros