Spurs and the Euros - part 9
The European Championships in 2016 played in France saw an incredible eleven Tottenham players take part, (plus we had players playing in the America’s and at the Olympics). We also had ten former players at the tournament.
with Spurs interest in ten of the twenty four countries, in a enlarged competition, now up to twenty eight teams.
The Group stage would see just 12 teams eliminated. Group A saw a Spurs interest in three of the teams. Besides France there was Albania who had ex-Tottenham man Paulo Tramezzani on their coaching staff. Whilst the Rumanians were skippered by another former Spur Vlad Chiriches.
Hugo Lloris played in all three group games and along the way became the player who has captained the country more than anyone else. Albania won they first game at a major tournament when they beat Rumania to finish in third place above them in the group.
England and Wales were drawn together in Group B. They met in the second game and a blistering Bale free kick from close to 40 yards was the highlight even if England came from behind to clinch the game. Wales would top the group as England drew their other two games.
Gareth Bale scored in all three group games and thus became the countries top scorer in major tournaments. Wales also had Ben Davies (man of the match in the opener V Slovakia) and former player Chris Gunter in the side.
England took five current players, Harry Kane, Kyle Walker, (above left) Danny Rose, Deli Ali and Erik Dier. It was Dier who scored his second England goal, direct from a free kick against Russia. All five featured in the first two games before a number of changes to rest players with only Dier starting the last game V Slovakia, a 0-0 draw and the first time Slovakia had kept a clean sheet in a major tournament. Kane and Deli were late substitutes.
There was plenty for Spurs fans in Group E as Robbie Keane was team captain for the Republic of Ireland but only made two appearances from the bench.
The Belgium side had Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderwireld (top) play all three games whilst Mouse Dembele joined them in the second.
Croatia had our former men Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka in their team with Modric scoring the winner V Turkey. Group F had Kevin Wimmer in the Austrian squad whilst three ex-players turned up representing Iceland in Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Siggurdsson and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Siggurdsson played in all three games and scored in the draw with Hungary. With the other two making one appearance each as they finished second and progressed.
Austria finished bottom of the group with Kevin Wimmer making one brief appearance from the bench.
With ten of our current players reaching the last 16 as well as eight former players there remained plenty of interest for Tottenham fans. The Croatia pair fell first in the Round of 16. Whilst Ben Davies and the ex-Spurs Bale and Gunter got past Northern Ireland who didn’t have a Tottenham connection.
Hugo Lloris (left) was still in sparkling form as his French side come from behind to beat the Republic of Ireland. While Belgium with the opener from Toby Alderweireld eased past Hungary 4-0. The shock of the round came as England lost to Iceland 1-2. Described as the ‘biggest bad day’ for the national side since they lost to USA in the 1950 World Cup.
The quarter finals saw a Tottenham clash as Wales came from behind to beat the Belgium side. The Welsh enjoying their best tournament since 1958 had Ben Davies pick up a yellow card and missed the next game.
Along side both former Spurs men. Toby Alderweirld also picked up a yellow card whilst Demebele was left on the bench. Vertonghen had twisted an ankle in training and would have missed the rest of the competition. The French side overcome Iceland 5-2.
The semi finals saw the Welsh dream die as they went down to Portugal 0-2 with Bale (booked) and Gunter in the team while the French beat Germany by the same score. If Spurs fans dreamt of their skipper Hugo Lloris picking up the trophy they were disappointed as Portugal scored the only goal in the final in the 109th minute.
Spurs fans however did get to see Moussa Sissoko who transferred to Spurs later that summer. He played in six games (two from the bench) for France.
The rest of this series, which appeared before last summers competition can be found @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-international-index
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