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England’s wait for silverware on the international stage has entered its 61st year following the World Cup triumph in 1966.
The European Championships have always evaded the Three Lions, with Gareth Southgate’s predecessors all failing to stamp their authority on the competition.
Just one semi-final appearance for England in 25 years, when it was held on home soil but a shootout defeat to Germany broke the hearts of many at Wembley – including Southgate himself after his costly penalty miss.
His side came agonisingly close at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, but their first group stage opponents at the Euros, Croatia, shattered the dreams of millions of fans.
But Euro 2020 offers the chance to bring that special tournament spirit back England, with Southgate's men currently amongst the favourites with the bookmakers.
Harry Kane will be leading the England team out at Euro 2020 as captain
(Image: The FA via Getty Images)
Following more than a year of lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, June 13 will see club allegiances and rivalries put to the side as the English contingent look to hold the European Championships aloft come July 11 at Wembley.
But who are the 26 players millions will be cheering on?
Jordan Pickford, 27, Everton
Caps – 31
An injury to Nick Pope has more than likely cemented Pickford’s starting place in Southgate’s squad in their opener against Croatia on June 13.
The Everton shot-stopper featured in the 1-0 win over Austria in the first warm-up and will almost certainly be between the sticks for the opening group game.
Despite a couple of errors earlier in the season for his club side, he finished the campaign strongly despite it being a disappointing one for the Toffees.
Jordan Pickford will be eyeing the number one spot in Gareth Southgate's plans
(Image: Laurence Griffiths – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
His heroics in the UEFA Nations League penalty shoot-out win against Switzerland secured the Three Lions third place in 2019, carrying on from the spot-kick triumph over Columbia at the World Cup.
Dean Henderson, 24, Manchester United
Caps – 1
The 24-year-old made his debut for England in November 2020 where he played in the second half of their 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland.
At club level, Henderson deputised for David de Gea for the remainder of the season from March, showing glimpses of his quality as Manchester United lost just one of the 13 games that the former Sheffield United loanee played in.
Sam Johnstone, 28, West Brom
Caps – 1
The former United trainee, Johnstone earned a call-up following Pope's injury, before beating under-21 goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to the final goalkeeping berth in the 26-man squad.
He was one of the standout performers for West Brom in their fight to beat the drop. Ultimately, they failed to survive relegation in their first season back in the top-flight.
The 28-year-old made his debut in the final warm-up game during England's win over Romania as he impressed in his first outing for Southgate's side.
He kept a clean sheet and made a crucial save late on displaying super reflexes as he denied Andrei Ivan on the rebound.
Ben Chilwell, 24, Chelsea
Caps – 14
Ben Chilwell is among the three Champions League winners heading into camp on a high. The left-back enjoyed his debut season at Stamford Bridge, scoring three goals and assisting five times in 27 Premier League appearances.
Since his debut in 2018, he has gone on to put on the England shirt 14 times but faces stiff competition for the starting position at left-back with Luke Shaw potentially preferred, while Kieran Trippier played in the position against Austria.
Ben White, 23, Brighton
White was called up to the full England squad just six days before the Group D opener against Croatia. The 23-year-old impressed in his first season in the Premier League and takes the place of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Brighton-man has the ability to play as a central defender, as he often did for Graham Potter's side, or as a defensive midfielder.
Upon his call-up to the squad, he took to Twitter saying: "Beyond proud and honoured! I’ll give it my everything. @England."
Conor Coady, 28, Wolves
Tyrone Mings (L) and Conor Coady (R) are vying for a place in England's defence
Caps – 5
Conor Coady was given the opportunity to feature in Gareth Southgate’s plans during the September camp in preparation for the run of Nations League fixtures.
The Wolves captain offers leadership and a wealth of experience that he has obtained as he progressed through the footballing pyramid before reaching the Premier League.
A month after his debut in the goalless draw with Denmark, Coady was the unlikely goal-scoring threat as he nodded home England’s second against Wales in the behind-closed-doors friendly at Wembley.
He could well be in line to feature in the starting XI, but much will depend on the fitness of Harry Maguire.
Reece James, 21, Chelsea
Caps – 6
Like Chilwell, James enters the fray on the back of a good performance in Chelsea's 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League final.
Southgate raised a few eyebrows naming four right-backs in his 26-man squad, with the injury to Alexander-Arnold, it now makes three with Trippier and Kyle Walker.
James could play a part in England’s tournament depending on the formation chosen by Southgate with Walker occasionally used centrally when deploying wing-backs.
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Harry Maguire, 28, Manchester United
Caps – 32
England’s defensive hopes have been pinned on the most expensive defender in the world but an ankle injury has meant that the 28-year-old has stepped up rehabilitation to be ready for the tournament.
The Manchester United skipper enjoyed a successful season as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men finished runners-up behind rivals Manchester City and proved to be a huge loss in the closing stages of the season as his club side were defeated in the Europa League final.
Tyrone Mings, 28, Aston Villa
Caps – 9
Aston Villa’s no-nonsense defender made a return to the England set-up in 2020 after making his debut a year earlier.
Mings was instrumental to Dean Smith’s sides revival after they narrowly scraped safety following Project Restart, before improving to claim an 11th-place finish this past season.
Depending on Southgate's plans for each match, Mings is likely to miss out behind John Stones and Maguire if the latter returns from injury, but could feature in a back three if not.
Luke Shaw, 25, Manchester United
Luke Shaw is in contention to be England's left-back at the tournament
(Image: The FA via Getty Images)
Caps – 9
A resurgence in form is to thank for Luke Shaw’s return to the international setup after three years away.
It looks like the 25-year-old has shaken off the injury problems that hampered his progress and place in the squad.
The Manchester United full-back could play a key role in England’s bid to win the European Championships for the first time with his defensive and attacking qualities offering plenty to Southgate if selected.
John Stones, 27, Manchester City
Caps – 42
Stones played his way back into club manager Pep Guardiola’s plans after being on the cusp of a move away from the Etihad Stadium.
The ball-playing defender built a formidable partnership with FWA Player of the Year, Ruben Dias, as City cruised to Premier League glory.
Back in the squad and back to his best, the Barnsley-born defender enjoyed his best scoring season with four goals, and has hit form at the right time for his country.
Kieran Trippier, 30, Atletico Madrid
Caps – 27
Another player within the England squad who tasted victory domestically.
For Trippier, Atletico Madrid were crowned La Liga champions after they came from behind to beat Real Valladolid on the final day of the season.
Gareth Southgate selected him to play in the first warm-up match against Austria at the Riverside Stadium with the 30-year-old lasting the entire 90 minutes playing left-back.
The full-back is fondly remembered for his stunning free-kick against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final, but it is unclear whether he will play such a pivotal role this time round.
Kyle Walker, 31, Manchester City
Caps – 55
Walker offers a variety of speed and agility, as well as his defensive capabilities, as England look set to face at least three determined and threatening countries in Group D.
For Manchester City he has been a consistent regular, even fending off the threat of the impressive Joao Cancelo taking his place this season, and faces a similar task in England's ranks.
But the 31-year-old’s experience, from his success with Manchester City and over 50 England caps under his belt, is unparalleled compared with his peers.
Jude Bellingham, 17, Borussia Dortmund
Caps – 3
Bellingham became the youngest England player to start for his country since Wayne Rooney after featuring in the clash with Austria last week.
There is plenty of hype surrounding the teenager already as he looks to set Euro 2020 alight.
He starred for Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League quarter-final defeat to Manchester City, illustrating his quality against top opposition, and has an outside chance of making the XI to face Croatia.
Jordan Henderson, 30, Liverpool
Jordan Henderson has only just returned from injury in time for the Euros
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Caps – 58
The Liverpool captain missed a large chunk of the second half of the season after suffering a groin injury, which required surgery, during their defeat to rivals Everton in February.
His inclusion in the 26-man squad raised a few eyebrows considering the fitness of the midfielder but his wealth of experience could be crucial within Southgate’s camp.
Mason Mount, 22, Chelsea
Caps – 16
Mount makes up the final of the three Champions League winners within the squad looking to replenish the taste of success earned in Porto at the end of May.
His attacking creativity has been likened to former manager Frank Lampard as he orchestrated the only goal of the game in the Champions League final.
Similar to Bellingham, Mount has earned plenty of plaudits heading into the competition and Southgate is a big admirer of his talents.
Kalvin Phillips, 25, Leeds
Caps – 7
Phillips is one of the lesser experienced on the global stage but has rightly earned his place in the squad.
The midfielder has shoned for Leeds United this season, displaying his superb passing range, and has the relentless guile instilled into his game by master tactician Marcelo Bielsa.
Declan Rice, 22, West Ham
Caps – 16
Rice has come on leaps and bounds this season and looks set to provide the anchoring role needed in England's side.
At the tender age of 22, the West Ham midfield has an mature head on his shoulders, possessing a special blend of experience, youth and quality, and is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 24, Everton
Caps – 8
With four goals in his first eight caps for England, Calvert-Lewin could be the goalscoring answer they may need with his aerial prowess and natural finishing ability.
Everton’s talisman is the ideal backup for England captain Harry Kane, and will likely be an option Southgate turns to from the bench.
Phil Foden, 21, Manchester City
Caps – 6
Foden flourished under the wing of Pep Guardiola in his scintillating season at Manchester City, which earned him a PFA Player of the Year nomination.
A threat whenever he picks up the ball and drives forward, the positive influence England could very need when the chips are down.
With bags of potential, the opportunity is in front of the 21-year-old.
Jack Grealish, 25, Aston Villa
Jack Grealish has been in good form in England's warm-up fixtures
Caps – 5
Grealish’s call-up was a long time coming for many after a number of seasons as Aston Villa's key player.
As Dean Smith’s side defied pre-season expectations, the 25-year-old was instrumental in helping the team push higher up the table.
An injury slightly derailed his side’s form edging towards the season’s conclusion but Grealish returned to stake his claim for a position in the squad, and has the ability to be a real weapon for England in the attacking third.
Harry Kane, 27, Tottenham
Caps – 54
Kane will be looking to top the goalscoring charts in yet another competition after he topped the Premier League goals and assists table for this season, as well as picking up the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup.
With his club future up in the air, all eyes are on the £150m man as he looks to fire England to their first honours in 61 years.
Marcus Rashford, 24, Manchester United
Caps – 40
Rashford has managed to record a decent campaign for Manchester United despite carrying injuries throughout the season.
Yet while his club teammate Mason Greenwood was forced out of the squad with injury, Rashford insists he is ready to make a difference at Euro 2020.
His 11 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League are an indication of the goalscoring capabilities he can provide as he returns to the set-up for the first time since October 2020, after he missed the previous camp due to a shoulder injury.
Bukayo Saka, 19, Arsenal
Caps – 4
Saka notched his first England goal in the win over Austria, showing good composure to convert from a tight angle as the ball had squirmed kindly into his path.
The course of the season has forced Saka to show his versatility after he has been fielded in various positions, which will be a useful option for Southgate.
Jadon Sancho, 21, Borussia Dortmund
Caps – 18
Many of the teams who will come up against England during the tournament will be well aware of Sancho.
The Borussia Dortmund wide-man has shown his quality in the Bundesliga, becoming the first and youngest player to reach 50 assists in the division.
England’s wealth of attacking threat intensifies with Sancho as his unpredictability and trickery will be a real danger the Three Lions can utilise.
Raheem Sterling, 26, Manchester City
Caps – 61
Sterling has the most caps out of those in the 26-man squad and despite his stuttering end to the season, he will be looking to emphasise his importance to England.
The 26-year-old will need to be at the top of his game with Sancho, Saka and Rashford all eyeing a place in the starting XI come June 13th as Croatia visit Wembley.
Who will be England's key man at Euro 2020? Have your say below.