The wait is finally over. Euro 2016 will get underway on Friday and alongside our Copa America blog (I’m sure you’re following it) we’ll run a daily Euro blog (two actually with one specifically devoted to England) as well.
Once, the tournament gets underway, we’ll have a lot of topics to discuss – England’s tactical analysis (isn’t it too predictable?), goals, turning point(s), the best free bets for Euro 2016, press reactions and other stuff – but for now let’s run through some of the interesting Euro-related stories from the Three Lions camp.
England squad has the highest transfer value
According to a research from CIES Football Observatory, the England squad has the highest transfer value of all 24 teams participating in Euro 2016.
The research group have used an exclusive algorithm to estimate the transfer value of every player at the tournament.
The estimated transfer value of the England squad totals €751 million, with France (€697m), Spain (€639m), Germany (€601m) and Belgium (€550m) are way behind.
At the bottom of the table is Hungary (€30m), ahead of Romania (€51m), Albania (€57m) and Slovakia (€59m). Interestingly, 12 participating teams out of 24 have a total transfer value lower than Cristiano Ronaldo, the most expensive (€138m) player on earth.
Harry Kane tops shirt sales
England replica shirt with Harry Kane’s name on the back has sold more kits than any other player since Roy Hodgson has announced the Three Lion’s Euro 2016 squad.
According to a data released by UKSoccershop, Kane’s name is printed on 30 per cent of shirts carrying names sold since the 26-man preliminary squad was named by Hodgson.
Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere is the second most popular player at 20 per cent. Interestingly, Manchester United’s young striker, Marcus Rashford is at third, beating his club and country skipper Wayne Rooney.
Harry Kane (22%), Jack Wilshere (20%), Marcus Rashford (15%), Jamie Vardy (12%), Adam Lallana (10%), Wayne Rooney (9%), Ross Barkley (5%), Dele Alli (4%), Daniel Sturridge (2%), Raheem Sterling (1%).
Smalling declares himself fit for Russia clash
England fans feared that Chris Smalling might have suffered an injury ahead of Euro 2016 after he was pictured with strapping on his left knee.
But the Manchester United centre-back has allayed the fears claiming he will be fit to play for England in their Euro 2016 opener against Russia in Marseille on Saturday.
There’s no injury scare there,” he said as quoted by Sky Sports. “I normally ice my body or jump into an ice bath. It’s just a normal recovery process to be ready for the next day. No worries there.”
Smalling has revealed that the confidence in high within Roy Hodgson’s squad and that England can go a long way. England defender Ryan Bertrand is facing a race against time to get fit ahead of the clash against Russia, having trained away from the rest of the squad on Tuesday.
Video of the day: Joe Hart with a rabona nutmeg in training