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    From Thierry Henry to David Trezeguet and Karim Benzema, top 5 French strikers in history with no Olivier Giroud

    REAL MADRID boss Zinedine Zidane has labelled Karim Benzema the best French striker of all-time… but is he right?
    Les Bleus have been blessed with several world-class players over the years, helping rack up two World Cups and two European Championships.

    Reigning world champions France have boasted a number of star forwards over the yearsCredit: Reuters

    Strikers such as Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Eric Cantona and Olivier Giroud can all stake a claim to being in the top five.
    And a number of great attacking midfielders, including Zidane, Michel Platini and Raymond Kopa, have provided the ammunition.
    But, as with any list of this calibre, some top names must be left out.
    Here, SunSport details our top five strikers in French football history.

    5 – Antoine Griezmann
    As mentioned, several top players would be jostling for this position with Giroud, Mbappe, Jean-Pierre Papin and Sylvain Wiltord unfortunate to miss out.
    Yet Barcelona star Griezmann has spearheaded the attack to two finals in his three major tournaments.
    Vital goals past Ireland and Germany set up a Euro 2016 final defeat before he netted the go-ahead goal in the World Cup final two years later.

    Antoine Griezmann was a focal point in France’s 2018 World Cup winCredit: Getty – Contributor
    4 – David Trezeguet
    Scoring goals in friendlies or against minnows in qualifying is all well and good, but it is the big moment when the heroes turn up.

    Trezeguet’s golden goal winner to win Euro 2000 is forever etched in France football history.
    And the ex-Juventus ace formed part of an impressive attack for over a decade, sitting as his country’s fourth-highest scorer of all-time with 34 goals.

    David Trezeguet netted the goal that won Euro 2000Credit: EPA
    3 – Karim Benzema
    What could have been, had Benzema not become embroiled in a sextape blackmail scandal with former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, is anyone’s guess.
    The 32-year-old denies all allegations but has not featured for Les Bleus since 2015.
    Zidane praised his work ethic and quality at bringing others into the attack, which cannot be doubted with Benzema so far claiming four LaLiga titles, four Champions League crowns and four Ligue 1 wins in a fantastic career.

    Karim Benzema is still France’s tenth-highest scorer despite not playing for five yearsCredit: AFP or licensors
    2 – Just Fontaine
    Registering 30 goals for his country is only good enough to make 87-year-old Fontaine the equal-seventh top scorer in the annuls of French football.
    But a career-ending injury meant he did so in just 21 games, putting him head and shoulders above almost any player of any nationality for goals-to-game ratio.
    Fontaine’s 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup remains a record, in a tournament where only Pele’s Brazil could knock out Les Bleus.

    1 – Thierry Henry
    Bursting onto the scene as France’s top scorer in the 1998 World Cup triumph, Henry set out his stall for the years to come.
    Another trio en route to Euro 2000 continued his ascent before his best calendar year came in 2003 – hitting 11 goals in 14 games.
    Retiring internationally in 2010, he held a national record of 51 goals with his tally of 123 caps by far the most of any attacker to play for France.

    Thierry Henry is France’s all-time top goalscorerCredit: AP:Associated Press

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    Norwich star Teemu Pukki commits himself to shooting club back into the Premier League and vows: I’m going nowhere

    TEEMU PUKKI has given every Norwich fan an early Christmas present.
    The striker promises he is committed to shooting the club back into the Premier League and is going nowhere next month.

    Norwich ace Teemu Pukki lifts aloft the Championship trophy last yearCredit: PRESS ASSOCIATION

    Pukki won the Golden Boot for his 29 goals during Norwich’s 2018-19 seasonCredit: REX FEATURES

    Pukki, 30, will attract a lot of suitors in the January transfer window.
    But he told SunSport: “I’ve no plans for leaving in January. I’m fighting for this team and we’ve got a big season going on.
    “I want to go back into the Premier League and I’m fighting for that.”
    The striker is set to make his 100th appearance when the Canaries travel to Blackburn today – having scored 48 goals and made 14 assists in his 99 games so far.

    Pukki is modest for a footballer generating so much love.
    The striker won legendary status at Carrow Road after shooting them into the Premier League in his first season with a staggering 29 goals after signing on a free from Brondby.
    And he then secured himself as a national treasure in Finland by firing them into next summer’s rearranged Euros, the first time they have qualified for a major tournament.
    His status was illustrated last year when his country’s then Prime Minister Antti Rinne took a special gift to Paris for French president Emmanuel Macron – a Teemu Pukki shirt.

    The striker told me: “It was a bit weird seeing that happen. I didn’t know how to react and it’s hard to say what I thought about that. I hope President Macron likes the shirt.”

    Even French President Emmanuel Macron owns a Teemu Pukki t-shirtCredit: Antti Rinne/Twitter

    Pukki and fans celebrate as Finland qualify for their first-ever tournament Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Ironically, reigning World Cup champions France were this week drawn in the same qualifying group for the 2022 tourneament in Qatar.
    Pukki’s season with the Canaries in the top flight was a tale of two halves.
    In the first part – up until January – he had thumped 11 goals in the top flight, not a bad effort for a club that were bottom for most of it.
    But after scoring at Tottenham in a 2-1 defeat, he failed to net again – and, after lockdown, Norwich finished bottom with a whimper as they lost all eight games.
    It was a shame because at one stage Norwich, despite their lowly position, were playing great football – prompting pundit Danny Murphy to describe them as the “best ever bottom-of-the-table team”.
    So why did Pukki’s form tail off?
    He said: “There were a lot of things. As a team we didn’t create the same amount of chances and, personally, my confidence levels were down after not scoring after so many games.
    “Up until January-February time, we were playing good football – but just couldn’t get the points. Whenever we went behind, we just couldn’t turn the games around.

    As a team we didn’t create the same amount of chances and, personally, my confidence levels were down
    Teemu Pukki

    “After the corona break, we didn’t score as many goals. It was a tough time, personally and as a team. We weren’t able to raise our level at the end of the season.
    “We couldn’t compete in the end at that level – because in the Premier League mistakes made are exploited because there is more quality.”
    Now, back in the Championship, the Canaries are flying at the top of the table without really flapping their wings.
    The Norfolk club have managed to churn out results with an injury-hit squad – thanks mostly to a more solid defence.

    Teemu Pukki celebrates one of his 11 Premier League goals, against ArsenalCredit: EPA
    Pukki said: “For sure, I don’t think we’ve shown our best yet. In some moments we have. There have been some tough games where we’ve got the winner in the end.
    “We’ve been having a lot of injuries. Hopefully we’ll get our boys back soon.
    “Our defenders have been brilliant, the keeper as well. If you compare this season to the one when we went up, we conceded a lot of goals but were scoring a lot of goals as well.
    “This time we’ve had a lot of 1-0 victories. If you want to compete at this level you need to be secure at the back. That’s been working well.”

    Daniel Farke is known for being a hard taskmasker. His training regime is one of the toughest in English football and the team’s superior fitness levels have played dividends with the amount of late goals they have scored this season.
    Nine of their 23 netted have come in the last 10 minutes to either win matches or snatch a point.
    Pukki said: “That’s something we’ve been good at. We’ve done a lot of work and have the fitness levels to turn the games in the end.
    “That is something we keep working at every week. We can go 90 minutes and turn the games.”
    With the Canaries finishing rock bottom by some distance, the board could have been justified to sack their German coach but decided to stay loyal.
    And the Finnish ace said: “Since the first moment I came here I felt he was a good manager.

    Pukki celebrates scoring at Stoke and is on form again after a tough 2020Credit: REX FEATURES
    “He got us playing good football. It has been a tough year for all of us. The club wanted to believe he can change things around and that is what we are showing.
    “It’s still a lot of work but we’re going in the right direction.”
    Pukki’s is looking forward to what he hopes is a huge 2021 – leading Norwich back into the top-flight and then featuring for Finland in the Euros.
    He said: “We had some hard times with the national team where we didn’t win a single game in one year but in the last couple of years it’s been great for Finnish football.
    “We’ve had many players in the European leagues and whenever we get together we’re quite a competitive team. I’m proud of what we’ve done for the Finnish national team and it is every footballer’s dream back home to appear in a major tournament.”


    IT’S been a challenge to socially-distance everyone needing treatment in the Norwich medical room this season.Up until today’s trip to Blackburn, they have had a staggering SIXTEEN players who have missed matches through injuries.Here’s their tale of the crocks.
    Tim Krul (thigh)
    Sam Byram (hamstring)
    Jordan Hugill (shoulder)
    Kieran Dowell (ankle)
    Todd Cantwell (hip)
    Xavi Quintilla (hip)
    Kenny McLean (knee)
    Adam Idah (knee)
    Onel Hernandez (adductor)
    Ben Gibson (calf)
    Christoph Zimmermann (calf)
    Przemyslaw Placheta (hamstring)
    Grant Hanley (hamstring)
    Marco Stiepermann (back)
    Bali Mumba (knee)
    Teemu Pukki (hamstring)

    Norwich have taken advantage of Pukki’s status in Finland by forging a number of commercial partnership in the Scandinavian country.
    The club have deals in place with plastic-free-cups firm Kotka Mills, travel company Dr. Oetker Suom and Pyynikin Brewery – as well as sell plenty of Pukki merchandise that sells in his homeland almost as fast a Finnish vodka.
    But surely Norwich are missing a trick in their partnership with British firm Pukka Pies.
    A hearty Pukki Pie has a really nice ring to it.
    The Finnish ace laughed: “I’ve never tried a pie.”
    You really should, Teemu. Get Delia Smith to bake you one.

    The Finnish star celebrates with Norwich fans after clinching promotionCredit: GETTY

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    Deschamps warns Chelsea boss Lampard about playing Giroud TOO MUCH after recalling striker to starting XI

    DIDIER DESCHAMPS has again warned Frank Lampard about Olivier Giroud’s playing time.
    But this time, the France manager urged his Chelsea counterpart NOT to play the striker too much.

    Didier Deschamps has repeatedly bemoaned Olivier Giroud’s lack of gametimeCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Giroud and Lampard have maintained a good relationshipCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    The pair have repeatedly been at loggerheads over Giroud’s game time, while Lampard has also been frustrated by Deschamps’ use of N’Golo Kante through the midfielder’s injury troubles.
    Giroud, 34, has enjoyed a Chelsea renaissance of late, however, banging five goals in their last two games.
    And while Deschamps, 52, is pleased at the reversal in his target man’s fortunes, he revealed that playing too much would not be ‘ideal’ either.
    He said: “We often talk about Olivier, he is often criticised.

    “A lot of the things said about him are unfair and he has this strength of character.
    “When we call on him he scores and when he doesn’t score he is still useful.
    “It’s a much happier time for him. Good for him, it was not the case when he came in selection.
    “What other people say, everyone is free to think what they want. Just look at the number of goals he has scored.

    Giroud has netted five goals in his last two gamesCredit: AP:Associated Press

    “I’m happy for him and I’m hoping it can last.
    “If Lampard decides to have him play three days a week, that’s not ideal either.
    “The happy medium is good, that he takes advantage of this ideal period for him.
    “He is one of the very best attackers at international level.”
    Amid Giroud’s return to prominence at Chelsea, former international team-mate Patrice Evra claimed that his pal would get more credit if he was called ‘Giroudinho’.

    If his name is Giroudinho or something people would like him
    Patrice Evra

    The former Manchester United ace said on Sky Sports: “I think Giroud’s only problem is his name.
    “If his name is Giroudinho or something people would like him.
    “For me he’s the most complete striker Chelsea have and I don’t understand, because even in the French national team people always question his style.
    “Even when he was at Arsenal, he’s always facing criticism. He always rises to the challenge and that’s what I love about Olivier.
    “If I had him as a manager he would play in my team, 100 per cent.
    “Every season we’re going to hear about a Giroud transfer saga but he’s the best striker Chelsea have right now.”
    Juventus and Inter Milan have both been linked with January swoops for the 6ft 4in ace.
    ⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

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    Under-fire Joachim Low to remain as Germany boss for Euro 2020 despite humiliating 6-0 defeat to Spain

    GERMANY have given under-fire Joachim Low a public vote of confidence – and confirmed he will lead his country into Euro 2020.
    World Cup winner Low faced growing calls for his dismissal after Germany’s 6-0 Nations League humiliation in Spain earlier this month.

    Germany are sticking with Joachim Low for Euro 2020Credit: AP:Associated Press

    Low has become embroiled in controversy ever since Germany’s group stage exit at the World Cup and his public spats with axed Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.
    The coach and right-hand man Oliver Bierhoff were summoned to an emergency meeting with German FA chiefs in Frankfurt this morning.
    But Low emerged with his position ringfenced and a promise that he would stay in charge into 2021.
    The DFB said: “It was important for the national coach to discuss the current situation, the defeat against Spain and the months leading up to the European Championship in an open, constructive and intensive exchange. 

    “Joachim Low informed those involved about his assessments, ideas and further plans. 
    “The members of the Executive Committee agreed that what counts is the high-quality work of the coaching staff, the intact relationship between the team and the coach and a clear concept for the previous and future procedures. 
    A single game cannot and must not be a yardstick for the general performance of the national team and the national coach.
    “The DFB leadership agrees that important sporting goals have already been achieved – including qualification for the Euros, staying in League A of the Nations League and being a top seed for the 2022 World Cup qualification draw. 

    England boast the most-valuable squad of all Euro 2020 nations

    “Accordingly, Joachim Low continues to have the trust of the DFB. 
    “The 6-0 defeat against Spain was a disappointment but there is a firm conviction that Joachim and his coaching team will deliver successful games and results despite a challenging situation for everyone. 
    “The national coach will take all necessary measures to play an exciting Euros with the team.”

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    Five top players England beat other countries to including Jack Grealish and Declan Rice

    INTERNATIONAL football has evolved its own competitive marketplace for talented stars in recent years.
    The modern world means players often have a number of different countries that they are eligible for.

    Jack Grealish and Declan Rice could have been lining up together for Republic of IrelandCredit: Reuters

    Fifa’s rules allow footballers to switch allegiance up until the moment they appear in a competitive match, leading to several examples of double debuts and awkward encounters.
    England are no stranger to this facet of the game, with stars both leaving and joining the national setup in this way.
    The latest hot talent considered up for grabs is Yunus Musah, the teenager who has played for the Three Lions’ youth teams but is also eligible for Ghana, Italy and the United States.
    His recent appearances for the US in friendly action mean he can still decide to play for Gareth Southgate – something the manager is very keen on.

    That would mean following in the footsteps of Declan Rice, who played three times for Republic of Ireland before finally accepting England’s call.
    Here, SunSport details the stories of five top stars who chose the Three Lions over other countries desperate for their services.

    England still hope to persuade USMNT starlet Yunus Musah to switch allegianceCredit: PA:Press Association
    Jack Grealish – Republic of Ireland
    Few international sagas have drawn as much attention as Jack Grealish’s, a player who began his career in the Ireland youth teams.
    The Aston Villa winger’s heritage led to him playing gaelic football as a lad, even appearing at Croke Park, before he signed up for the Boys in Green.

    Several youth appearances pushed Grealish towards the Irish senior side but he took a break from international football in 2014.
    Fellow Ireland youth star Aiden O’Brien told SunSport earlier this year that the winger needed time to make his mind up, stating: “When you get approached at that age you don’t really know what to do. You lean on those closest to you, and he spoke with his family a lot.”

    Grealish recently played for England against the Boys in GreenCredit: AP:Associated Press
    John Barnes – Jamaica
    Watford and Liverpool legend Barnes did not arrive in England until his teenage years and was eligible to play for Jamaica.
    Yet he chose England to play in the biggest tournaments – with Fifa rules at the time allowing the switch despite his lack of a British passport.
    He would later recall: “I wanna play in the World Cup, but I’m 18, a little black boy from Jamaica. So I can play for England or I can play for Jamaica.
    “But also, as it turned out, I could play for England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. I never signed anything, but I could play for any of the British teams. So as stupid as it seems, the only reason I played for England was because they were the first to ask.”

    John Barnes would play for England at two World CupsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Declan Rice – Republic of Ireland
    Like Grealish, Kingston-born Rice was another to choose England having started out in the Irish fold.
    But the midfielder even went as far as playing three games for the senior team before pausing his international career, with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill saying he was ‘giving him a little bit of time’.
    England were interested in the West Ham star but new Ireland boss Mick McCarthy pledged to make Rice the centre of his team.
    Alas, he chose the Three Lions – leading to an uncovered IRA-themed social media post making for a controversial switch.

    Declan Rice was allowed to switch from the Republic having only appeared in friendliesCredit: Sportsfile – Subscription
    Owen Hargreaves – Canada/Wales
    In the 2000s, a foreign-born player who starred for Bayern Munich being eligible for England was quite unusual.
    Yet the Three Lions saw Hargreaves’ potential and called him up to the Under-21s in 2000.
    Before that, the midfielder had already appeared at youth level for Wales, with his parents making him eligible for both.
    The decision to snub Canada led to Hargreaves becoming quite unpopular in the land of his birth.

    Owen Hargreaves won 42 caps and England’s 2006 Player of the Year honourCredit: PA:Press Association
    Patrick Bamford – Republic of Ireland
    Robbie Keane famously said of Leeds striker Bamford: “He should be chasing us. He should want to come here. If he doesn’t want to, no problem.
    “We shouldn’t be chasing people, by the way. That’s what f***ing winds me up. We shouldn’t be chasing people.”
    The Tottenham legend was one of many exasperated when last year Bamford contemplated switching back to Ireland, who he had played for at U18 level before committing to England.
    Bamford, 27, has represented England at U18, U19 and U21 levels but had not had a full cap.
    He recently told The Athletic: “At the start of the season I wouldn’t have said anything about England, or even thought about it, but the fact that I’ve started quite well, I need to just keep pushing and make sure that my name is in the frame for the summer.”

    Patrick Bamford is once again hoping for an England call-upCredit: AFP or licensors

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    Top ten most expensive players to miss Euro 2020 next summer including Erling Haaland and Jan Oblak

    NEXT SUMMER’S European Championship promises to be a festival full of football’s top stars.
    But not everybody can make it…

    From up-and-coming youngsters to established stars, a whole host of players will have to watch Euro 2020 from their living room.
    Here, SunSport looks at the most expensive players, via Transfermarkt, who missed out on qualification.
    #1 – Jan Oblak – Slovenia – £80m
    Had Jan Oblak played for England or Spain, he might be widely seen as the world’s best shot-stopper with a bucketload of international caps.
    Alas, Slovenia have not qualified for a major tournament since the Atletico Madrid star’s debut and he spent years as second-choice to Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic.

    Jan Oblak’s Slovenia crashed out of Euro 2020 qualifying at the hands of Poland and AustriaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    #2 Erling Haaland – Norway – £71.5m
    There is still plenty of time for Erling Haaland to make his mark on the international scene.
    Already, the striker has six goals in seven games for Norway but won’t be at Euro 2020 after his country lost in extra-time to Serbia in the play-offs.
    #3 – Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – Serbia – £58m
    Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has long been tipped to leave the Serie A club and sign for the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
    The opportunity to impress on the big stage next summer was lost with Serbia’s penalty shootout defeat to Scotland.

    Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could not lead his team past ScotlandCredit: PA:Press Association
    #4 – Miralem Pjanic – Bosnia – £45m
    Few know that Miralem Pjanic represented Luxembourg at youth level before switching to the country of his birth in 2008.
    Having featured at a World Cup for Bosnia, the Barcelona star will miss Euro 2020 after Northern Ireland knocked his side out of the play-offs.
    #5 – Martin Odegaard – Norway – £40m
    With Haaland and Martin Odegaard, Norway should be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
    But next summer comes too soon for the attacking midfielder, who is enjoying his first full season in the Real Madrid first-team.

    Martin Odegaard (right) is one of Norway’s young players who couldn’t qualifyCredit: AFP
    #6 – Filip Kostic – Serbia – £28m
    Serbia are the most-represented nation on this list having been the favourites to win their play-off path.
    Eintracht Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic will miss Euro 2020 despite being a star of Bundesliga for a number of years.
    =6 – Kostas Manolas – Greece – £28m
    Greece are now far from the team that won Euro 2004 and were a common fixture at major tournaments.
    Coming third in Group J of qualifying, behind Finland, and a poor Nations League performance deprived Napoli defender Kostas Manolas his first Euros.

    Euro 2004 winners Greece haven’t reached a major tournament since 2014Credit: AP:Associated Press
    #8 – Nikola Milenkovic – Serbia – £25m
    Serbia must be wondering what might have been after stumbling to Ukraine and Portugal in Group B before the penalty heartbreak at the hands of Scotland.
    Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, 23, is one of the starlets who would have fancied making a name for themselves at Euro 2020 with Juventus reportedly tracking his progress.
    #9 Marash Kumbulla – Albania – £22m
    Albania made their only trip to a major finals in France four years ago, famously beating Romania having almost snatchhed a point off the hosts.
    Roma’s 20-year-old defender Marash Kumbulla would have been a key talent to watch had his nation made it out of qualifying.

    Roma signed Marash Kumbulla for £11m from Hellas Verona in the summerCredit: Reuters

    =9 – Luka Jovic – Serbia – £22m
    Scotland were shocked by Luka Jovic’s late header that took their play-off tie to extra-time.
    Serbia could not complete the comeback and the Real Madrid outcast missed the chance to provide his career with a much-needed shot in the arm next summer.

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    Former Iran forward Ali Daei ‘sincerely hopes’ Cristiano Ronaldo beats his record for most international goals ever

    CRISTIANO RONALDO would be warmly congratulated by Ali Daei if he breaks the Iran legend’s international goal record.
    No man has scored more than 51-year-old Daei on the international stage, with 109 bagged in 13 years for his country.

    Cristiano Ronaldo is seven goals away from the international goal recordCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Ali Daei ‘sincerely hopes’ the Portugal forward beats his tallyCredit: EPA

    Another strike for Portugal last week put Ronaldo one step closer to the record and his tally stands at 102.
    It seems only a matter of time until the Juventus star, 35, claims the honour and Daei is looking forward to that moment.
    The former striker is quoted by Record as saying: “I sincerely hope that Cristiano Ronaldo will reach my goal record for the national team.
    “In no way [would I be hurt], it would be a real honour for me if a player in his class could do it.

    “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players not only of his time, but of all time. He is an absolute phenomenon.
    “I would congratulate him directly. But first he has to get there.


    Ali Daei – Iran – 109 goals – 149 caps
    Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal – 102 goals – 169 caps
    Mokhtar Dahari – Malaysia – 88 goals – 131 caps
    Ferenc Puskás – Hungary – 84 goals – 85 caps
    Godfrey Chitalu – Zambia – 79 goals – 111 caps
    Hussein Saeed – Iraq – 78 goals – 137 caps
    Pelé – Brazil – 77 goals – 92 caps
    Kunishige Kamamoto – Japan – 75 goals – 76 caps=8 Bashar Abdullah – Kuwait – 75 goals – 134 caps10. Sunil Chhetri – India – 72 goals – 115 caps=10. Majed Abdullah – Saudi Arabia – 72 goals – 117 caps

    “Cristiano Ronaldo already has 102 goals for Portugal and will beat my record, I’m sure of that, but he still has seven goals to go.”
    Portugal take on Croatia on Tuesday night with an outside shot of jumping France to win Nations League group A3.

    Next year, Ronaldo will have the chance to add to his tally with Euro 2020 warm-up games before the potential opportunity to break the record during the tournament.
    Hungary, France and Germany await the defending champions in Group F.

    Coach Fernando Santos has played down the importance of Ronaldo breaking the goal record ahead of the Croatia game.
    He said: “Nobody will be thinking about Cristiano.
    “The [other players] will not be thinking about not scoring in order to give the chance to someone else.
    “Even Cristiano wouldn’t want that to happen. Cristiano will score when he has to score. The [other players] will not be thinking about that.”

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    Top ten most valuable Euro 2020 squads with £1.3BN England top ahead of France, Spain, Portugal and Germany

    ENGLAND may not have qualified for the Nations League finals next year – but they will go into Euro 2020 boasting the most-valuable squad.
    The Three Lions are worth a combined £1.26BILLION – with none of the other 23 nations even coming close.

    England boast the most-valuable squad of all Euro 2020 nations

    England have the most-valuable squad in Europe worth over £1bn, with Sterling and Sancho both worth more over £100m eachCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    France rank second on £932million – a full £328m less valuable than Gareth Southgate’s group, according to Transfermarkt.
    England rank top of the 24-nation list thanks in no small part to a their star power across the board.
    The 2018 World Cup semi-finalists have THREE players worth £100m or more in the squad.
    Raheem Sterling (£115m), Harry Kane (£108m) and Jadon Sancho (£105m) lead the way, with Trent Alexander-Arnold narrowly behind, worth £99m.

    No other nation has more than ONE player valued at £100m+.
    France’s value is buoyed by Kylian Mbappe – the most-valuable player in the world at present, worth £162m.
    However, the French are incredibly deep – with EIGHT players worth £50m or more.
    England have just six in that band, with Germany also ahead in this category with seven £50m+ stars, led by Serge Gnabry at £81m.

    France – the 2018 World Cup winners – sit second worth over £900m, led by £162m-rated MbappeCredit: Reuters

    Spain sit third, led by most-valuable asset Ansu FatiCredit: AP:Associated Press

    Spain – led by newest star Ansu Fati (£72m) – sit third, valued at £758m.
    Portugal (£686m) – led by Joao Felix and NOT Cristiano Ronaldo – and Germany (£664m) complete the top five.
    Star-studded Belgium are good only for sixth on the list, despite £108m Kevin De Bruyne on the books.
    Italy are narrowly in seventh on £591m, led by Gianluigi Donnarumma and Marco Verratti (both £54m).
    From there, there’s a huge drop-off to eighth, with Holland – boasting £72m Virgil van Dijk – valued at just £422m.
    Mateo Kovacic’s Croatia (£318m) and Christian Eriksen’s Denmark (£263m) complete the top ten.
    At the bottom of the standings sit Finland, valued at just £32m in total – one of just four teams worth less than £100m.

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