With the European Championships just a few months away, players from across the continent are preparing for one of the biggest tournaments in world football. The best players in Europe compete to try to lead their nation to victory and this year’s edition will be no different. Cristiano Ronaldo produced magnificent displays to elevate Portugal to the title in 2016 but, at 36, it may be time for other superstars to step up and win the hearts of their country.
With so many contenders, it’s difficult to predict who will win the event this year, but you can get a real insight into matches from designated features which detail the key areas from every game. In this article I’ll list the players who could potentially inspire their team to glory in this year’s championships.
For the first time in recent history, England are preparing to enter a major tournament as favorites to lift the trophy. The success of the Three Lions will rest broadly on the shoulders of captain and talisman Harry Kane, whose goals and excellent performances have contributed to this England team being considered the start of a golden generation.
With 32 goals in 51 international appearances, Harry Kane has been a mainstay in the England side since 2015 and he’s filled the void left by Wayne Rooney impressively. Kane, who is on course to overtake Rooney’s record of England’s all-time top goalscorer, has had injury troubles over the past 12 months but has still found himself amongst the leading scorers in the Premier League, which shows the impact the 27-year-old has on the field.
Kane was one of England’s few constant goal threats when he won the Golden Boot at the World Cup 2018. The Spurs’ striker managed to lead his country into the semi-finals and, in this year’s tournament, the depth of talent available to Gareth Southgate is far greater than it was a couple of years ago.
Kane will have his eyes firmly set on winning the Euros, and with the final staged at Wembley, there is nobody with more experience of scoring at England’s largest stadium.
Romelu Lukaku is prolific and the rich vein of scoring he created in the Premier League, he has also mastered in Serie A. For club and country, the powerhouse striker has developed his game and become increasingly pivotal in the success of his team.
At Inter, Lukaku has broken the record for reaching 50 goals in the fewest games played, with the 6’3’’ striker needing only 70 appearances to reach the landmark. Lukaku’s record-setting is putting him among a list of elites. His 34 goal tally last season matched the former three-time World Footballer of the Year Ronaldo’s record with the Milan-based club.
Lukaku doesn’t just specialize in Serie A. He’s scoring freely at international level too. With 57 goals, Lukaku is already Belgium’s all-time top scorer, and he looks set to substantially extend that record. The Red Devils’ number nine has scored 35 goals in his last 33 appearances for his country and, as he’s supported by some of the greatest attacking talent in the world, it’s likely Lukaku will dominate at this year’s Euros.
CAPTION: Lukaku is already Belgium’s all-time top scorer
Widely regarded as the most promising player in world football, 22-year-old Mbappe has already established himself at the top of the sport. With four league titles and a World Cup victory, the Parisian prodigy has already won more than most players would through their entire career, but Mbappe’s blossoming career is only just beginning.
Averaging almost a goal per game with French champions PSG, Mbappe has won back-to-back top goalscorer awards and even Ligue 1 Player of the Year. The speedster seemed destined to conquer European club football last season, but it took at a formidable and record-breaking Bayern Munich side to prevent the striker adding the Champions League to his already crowded trophy cabinet.
After scoring in the 2018 World Cup Final win, it’s clear Mbappe is built for the big occasion, so we should expect the youngster to step up once again in this year’s major tournament and inspire his French team to a possible Euro 2020 win.