Benzema injury LATEST, Van de Beek out for Holland, Ben White called up to England Euro 2020 squad

KARIM BENZEMA has handed world champs France a scare by limping off injured in their 3-0 Euro 2020 warm-up win over Bulgaria.

The striker appeared to be hurt following a challenge with Bulgarian defender Ivan Turitsov during the first half.

The veteran tried to play on but soon went down and signalled he could not continue as he hobbled off favouring his right knee in the 37th minute at the Stade de France.

Meanwhile Man Utd's Donny van de Beek has been ruled out of the entire tournament for Holland.

The Dutch are already without injured captain Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Jesper Cillessen, who tested positive for Covid.

And on the home front, Gareth Southgate has confirmed Ben White will replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in his 26-man England squad.

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Follow all of the latest news, build up and updates below…

  • Simon Mail

    FO PROBLEM

    Phil Foden has thanked Gareth Southgate for his shot at redemption after being sent home in disgrace from England duty last autumn.

    The Manchester City maestro was punished for breaking Covid restrictions when he and Mason Greenwood smuggled two Icelandic beauty queens into a Reykjavik hotel room.

    And starlet Foden admitted that ‘not many managers’ would have forgiven him so swiftly, as he prepares to start in Sunday’s Euros opener against Croatia.

    Credit: Getty

    Speaking publicly about it for the first time, Foden said: “Obviously I made a massive mistake but Gareth said if I keep doing well and keep performing I should get another opportunity.

    “So I had to work hard for it and there are not many managers who would give you another opportunity so I have to thank Gareth a lot for giving me another chance.”

  • Simon Mail

    ROUND THE BENZ

    Karim Benzema has handed France an injury scare ahead of Euro 2020 as he limped out of their friendly with Bulgaria.

    Les Bleus cruised to a 3-0 win in their final match before they kick off the tournament on Tuesday against Germany in Munich.

    Credit: EPA

    The striker appeared to be hurt following a challenge with Bulgarian defender Ivan Turitsov during the first half.

    The veteran tried to play on but soon went down and signalled he could not continue as he hobbled off favouring his right knee in the 37th minute at the Stade de France.

    France boss Didier Deschamps said: “It's a knock.

    “He took a good hit on the muscle above the left knee, and he felt that it was hardening so we took no risk. The medical staff is currently with him.”

  • Simon Mail

    SUMMER OF LOVE

    Gareth Southgate delivered a rousing message to England’s players and fans as his Euros prep cranked up a gear.

    The Three Lions boss united the nation on the march to the World Cup semi-final in 2018 and now he wants the power of sport to lift the country again.

    Southgate, whose team face Croatia in the Euro 2020 opener at Wembley on Sunday, recognised the nightmare 15 months of Covid-19 and wants his players to be part of a summer of love again.

    He said: “There’s something I tell our players before every England game, and the reason that I repeat it is because I really believe it with all my heart.

    “I tell them that when you go out there, in this shirt, you have the opportunity to produce moments that people will remember forever. You are a part of an experience that lasts in the collective consciousness of our country.

    “We saw that during Russia 2018, with the street parties, the barbecues and with every drop of beer thrown into the air in celebration."

  • Simon Mail

    STERLING EFFORT

    Raheem Sterling is going into the Euros with a smile on his face despite Manchester City’s Champions League defeat.

    The forward claims he has put the loss in Porto behind him and is excited ahead of Sunday’s opener against Croatia at Wembley.

    Credit: Getty

    The England attacker said: “Honestly, I can’t wait. I actually can’t wait. It’s been a long season but I’m here with England now.

    “It’s been a good season with Man City, we’ve won some trophies. I am disappointed that we didn’t get the Champions League.

    “I’m playing at Wembley, the team’s playing at Wembley.

    “For me, this is what dreams are made of and I’m just going into this with a lovely mindset."

  • Simon Mail

    EURO VAN

    Holland will get a helping hand from Virgil van Dijk at Euro 2020 despite the Liverpool star's injury absence.

    Out of action since October due to an serious knee ligament injury, the 29-year-old will not feature on the pitch for his country.

    But he has reportedly answered the call to form part of Frank de Boer's backroom team.

    Van Dijk will offer his insight as an unofficial member of staff throughout the competition.

  • Simon Mail

    HEND GAME

    Glenn Hoddle admits he is worried about the inclusion of Jordan Henderson in England’s Euros squad.

    But the former Three Lions boss is confident the Liverpool skipper can still have an impact with the younger players off the pitch. 

    Speaking to Betfair, Hoddle said: “Henderson has been brought into the squad and I think it is a risk.

    “But I can see Gareth saying he needs someone with that experience who can settle people off the pitch. What happens off the pitch is not as important but it is massively important.

    “For that down time when you’re not training, having that experience around is key, and if you haven’t got that to lean on and watch it can be tough.

    “As a younger player you watch the older players and how they react and deal with it."

  • Simon Mail

    POLES APART

    Poland's final warm-up game ahead of Euro 2020 is certainly not going to plan.

    With just over ten minutes remaining, Poland are losing 2-1 at home to Iceland.

    Johann Gudmundsson opened the scoring for the visitors before Piotr Zielinski levelled for Poland.

    But Birkir Bjarnason's 47th minute goal has Iceland on course for a confidence-boosting win.

  • Jake Lambourne

    TV TIMES

    Euro 2020 is almost here and the TV games have been announced.

    ITV and BBC have revealed which England matches they'll be showing, plus all other fixtures.

    Click HERE to see the TV times.

  • Jake Lambourne

    ENTRY LEVEL

    Vaccine passports can be used to get into England’s Euro 2020 group matches in a major move backed by the Government.

    Fans seeking to attend the games against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic at Wembley will have to show the NHS app confirming they have received both Covid jabs at least 14 days before or a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of the game.

    But a successful use of the technology starting on Sunday will allow bigger crowds to attend the knock-out stages and could see more than 45,000 at the Final next month.

    The Government, FA and Uefa have agreed to cap crowds at 22,500 for the three group matches, 25 per cent of Wembley’s capacity.

    It is hoped that the passport scheme will be a trailblazer for other sporting events and lead to full crowds in the Prem from the start of next season.

    In an email sent to ticket holders, the regulations have been laid out.

    They state: “All ticket holders aged 11 and older must present evidence that they are at a low-risk of transmitting Covid-19 to enter Wembley Stadium. Failure to do so will mean you’re unable to attend the match.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    EURO SLASH

    England can win a maximum £24.29m in prize money at Euro 2020 – after Uefa and national associations agreed a cash cut.

    The initial prize money budget for the tournament planned a total pot of £319m.

    But with the Covid crisis causing a delay and crowds limited as a result of the pandemic, Uefa has now slashed the prize pool to £284.55m.

    England, like the other 23 qualified nations, will get a minimum payment of £8m.

    But the group stage prize money has been reduced from £1.29m per win (half that for a draw), to £860,000 for each victory and half for a draw.

    Qualifying for the last-16 is now worth £1.29m, down from the original £1.72m.

    Quarter-finalists will now receive an additional £2.15m, compared to the planned £2.8m.

    Reaching the semis will net the FA an extra £3.44m, 25 per cent less than the initial figure of £4.3m.

    And the winners and runners up will now receive £6.88m and £4.3m respectively.

  • Jake Lambourne

    CAL OF DUTY

    Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has hinted that he is open to switching his international allegiance to Ghana in the future.

    The 20-year-old is still eligible to represent the West African nation despite being capped three times at senior level by England.

    As reported by Joy Sports, he said: “I think obviously when you’re young, you have the opportunity to play for England throughout all the years, from under 15 to under 16 all the way up.

    “When they obviously gave me the opportunity to come I was in the country already.

    “It’s something that I already had in my mind, set on already playing for England.”

    “So it was the thing obviously choosing Ghana or England, and at the end of the day I said I always had the right people around me who always advise me – what’s right, what’s wrong. England came and I said 'Yeah, let me go and play for my country.

    “But I said Ghana is my home as well, so we’ll see, we’ll see. You’ll never know, so.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    GER JOKING

    England put their penalty shootout demons behind them in Russia to beat Colombia – but they are set to return against the Germans AGAIN this summer.

    Before that, though, the Three Lions will dump out both Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages.

    That is according to predictions from a supercomputer that has churned out the results for the whole of Euro 2020, as reported by talkSPORT.

    And it spells more semi-final heartbreak for Gareth Southgate.

    Read more HERE.

  • Jake Lambourne

    LIONS READY TO ROAR

    Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling are set to 'explode' into life for England at this summer's European Championship, according to Roy Keane.

    He said: "Sometimes you look at players who have had a quiet spell; quiet because they've set such high standards.

    "Rashford and Sterling, for example.

    "But I think that is a good thing. You're going into the tournament going 'these lads are ready to explode'.

    "Gareth [Southgate] definitely likes Rashford and Sterling."

  • Jake Lambourne

    PAUL THE OTHER ONE

    Paul Gascoigne has revealed that he brutally snubbed Chelsea in 1995 when he left Lazio for Rangers.

    He told talkSPORT: "I remember speaking to [then Lazio boss] Dino Zoff and asking him what clubs were interested in me at the time and he said Chelsea.

    "I said ‘I ain’t going there, what’s the other one?’ He replied Aston Villa.

    "And I said I ain’t going there either, and then he said Rangers. So I’m walking out of the door and I turned around and said ‘I ain’t going to Queens Park Rangers’.

    "No, Glasgow Rangers. I slammed the door and said to Dino get them over quickly.

    "I remember [Rangers boss] Walter Smith turning up and going ‘let me tell you about the club’.

    "I went ‘no, let me tell you what I’ve got in the fridge…. and I came out with two Budweisers. He said ‘you’re signing, aren’t you?!'"

  • Jake Lambourne

    PAUL YOUR HAIR OUT

    Phil Foden paid tribute to Paul Gascoigne by recreating the England icon's famous haircut from Euro 96.

    The Manchester City star has fans hoping the new look will help him inspire the Three Lions this summer the way Gazza did 25 years ago.

    Foden – who has already been compared to Gascoigne in terms of playing style – took things to a new level by unveiling his fresh trim for the Euros.

    Ahead of England's first Group D game against Croatia on Sunday, the 21-year-old revealed he has bleached his usually dark locks blonde.

    And in case any fans were in doubt about the Gascoigne reference, Foden captioned a picture on his Instagram story: "Euro 96 vibes."

    Phil Foden's latest haircut has been inspired by Paul Gascoigne's Euro 96 look
  • Jake Lambourne

    WHITE HOT

    Ben White was travelling home to Brighton on Sunday night when he got THE phone call.

    Gareth Southgate’s name appeared on the screen.

    The central defender had left Middlesbrough in a car provided by the FA and was 90 minutes into the 300-mile journey south.

    Yet after a quick conversation, which White will remember for the rest of his life, he mentally tore up his list of potential holiday destinations and turned his attention to Wembley.

    Then, he prepared for a quick turnaround in Brighton before heading to St. George’s Park this morning to meet up with his new international team-mates.

    After a jubilant phone call to his parents, Carole and Barry, the rest of the trip to the seaside on Sunday flew by as his head was now firmly in the clouds.

  • Jake Lambourne

    TOP OF THE BIL

    EXCLUSIVE – Sam Johnstone is so chilled he would treat the Euros exactly like a night game at Barnsley.

    At least that is what Slaven Bilic believes following the keeper’s classy England debut in Sunday’s 1-0 friendly win over Romania.

    Bilic said: “Sam is not a loud guy. He is very calm and doesn’t speak a lot. He is one of those guys that gives you confidence with his calmness.

    “He is relaxed but not sleepy. He is totally in a zone and in the beginning I was telling him to be louder.

    “But after that, I noticed he is one of those who can calm a team down with his attitude. He is not fazed. For him it would be the same if it were a Monday night in Barnsley or a match at Euro 2020.

    “It comes from your character but also from when you are at a big club and always being scrutinised.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    RAM READY

    Aaron Ramsey has declared he is raring to go for Wales ahead of Euro 2020.

    Speaking of repeated injuries during his time at Juventus, he said: “It’s been a frustrating couple of years to try and get any consistency going. Different environments, different methods and things like that.

    “It’s not something I’ve been used to because I was at one club for a very long time and I think adapting to that took a lot longer.

    “I’ve had to change a few things but now I feel like I’m in a good place. I’ve definitely worked hard over the last few months to get my body back into a good place.

    “I’m a proud Welshman who wants to play for Wales and help my team as much as I can. For me to have missed a few games over the last few years has been very frustrating and difficult for me.

    “Hopefully now that’s behind me and I can look forward to all these games in the European Championships.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    ROO MOON RISING

    Wayne Rooney will make his playing comeback in the 2021 edition of Soccer Aid.

    The popular charity match is set to take place on Saturday, September 4 in front of what could be a full house at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

    The Derby manager, 35, was part of the England coaching team in last year's match as fans raised a record £9.3million for Unicef.

    And he will feature alongside Manchester United alumni Paul Scholes and Gary Neville plus Jamie Redknapp, Fara Williams, David James, Ashley Cole, Kelly Smith and Emile Heskey for the home team.

    Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt is signed up to the World XI side with Roberto Carlos and Patrice Evra.

    Rooney said: "Pulling on an England shirt is always special, so I’m absolutely delighted to be doing that again in Soccer Aid for Unicef this September."

  • Jake Lambourne

    THE REAL DON

    Man Utd midfielder Donny van de Beek has been ruled out of Euro 2020 through injury.

    The Dutch international's injury caps off a difficult season where he has struggled first starts under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    A statement from the Holland National team said: "Donny van de Beek misses EURO 2020. Van de Beek has to let the European Championship pass by.

    "The midfielder is struggling with an injury. As a result, he is not available in time for EURO 2020.

    "Frank de Boer will not call a replacement for Van de Beek. Get well soon, Donny!"

  • Jake Lambourne

    GOLDEN BOY

    Harry Kane is dreaming of a stunning Euro 2020 trophy double as the England captain wants to lead his country to victory in the final at Wembley on July 11.

    And he is also on a mission to add to his personal collection of gongs by once again bagging the Golden Boot.

    He said: “As a striker, if you are scoring, you are helping the team. That’s always my aim — and to win.

    “Of course, I’d love to win another Golden Boot. More importantly, I’d love to be lifting that Euros trophy.

    “Whatever way we get there, whether it’s me scoring or others, it doesn’t bother me as long as we are winning games.

    “That’s why we play football on the hihest stage, to be involved in the biggest games. Once most guys are on the pitch, instinct takes over.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    BOO ARE YA?

    Rio Ferdinand has slammed fans who boo England players taking the knee as ‘ignorant’.

    A number of supporters at the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 warm-up friendlies jeered the pre-game gesture.

    Ferdinand told his YouTube channel: “These fans, these ignorant people going to these games, they haven’t got a clue.

    “They don’t know what the players are kneeling for. It’s not a political stance.

    “All these people saying, ‘BLM is a political movement’ – [the knee] is nothing to do with [BLM]. So take that out of your mind.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    MAKING THEIR MARC

    England star Marcus Rashford believes that the Three Lions' squad players can add an extra 'spark' to the first XI.

    The Man United forward is one of a number of attacking players vying for a place, and he believes that everyone will contribute.

    He said: "Don't get me wrong, everybody wants to be in the first XI – but I think from my experience of being in tournaments you need a squad.

    "You have to have players capable of coming on at different moments and giving that extra spark. I think in our squad we have that all over the pitch, so to be honest it (starting against Croatia) is not at the front of my mind.

    "We go there as a squad that's trying to win a tournament. Whether or not you're starting in the first XI you've still got a massive role to play if we want to win the tournament.

    "You're being deluded if you expect 11 players to win seven games – and you're playing games in a short space of time. The squad's going have to be utilised and to be honest I'm excited and looking forward to it."

    Marcus Rashford is confident in all of the options that Gareth Southgate has at his disposalCredit: Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    GERMANY 7 LATVIA 1

    Germany battered minnows Latvia in their final Euro 2020 warm-up match last night.

    Joachim Low's side go into the tournament full of confidence after dismantling the 138th placed side in the Fifa Rankings.

    Atalanta star Robin Gosens got the goal-fest started in the 19th minute – with Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Muller strikes making it 3-0 before the half-hour mark.

    A Robert Ozols own goal swiftly made it four, before Serge Gnabry put Die Mannschaft 5-0 up on the stroke of half-time.

    Timo Werner and Leroy Sane efforts put the Germans 7-0 up, although Aleksejs Saveljevs grabbed a consolation with 15 minutes remaining.

  • Etienne Fermie

    PRICE IS WHITE

    Manchester United and Arsenal have been warned that England star Ben White will cost £50million, according to reports.

    The Brighton defender, 23, enjoyed a fine debut Premier League season this term.

    And he was rewarded for his form by replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in England's final 26-man squad for Euro 2020.

    Brighton are unsurprisingly desperate to keep hold of the Three Lions star beyond this summer.

    And to do so, the Daily Mail say the Seagulls have slapped a £50m price tag on the Dorset-born defender.

    United continue their hunt for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to cement a solid defensive pairing this summer.

    And Arsenal have lost David Luiz so may well be on the hunt for a new centre-back – but cannot offer European football next term.

    Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Roma, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund have all also been linked with White.

    Brighton have slapped a £50m price tag on their England defender Ben White

    Source: Read Full Article