Rio Ferdinand has named who he thinks will be the players to watch at this summer’s European Championships, as well as picking a winner and top goalscorer.
As is in every international tournament, top talent will be on show over the next four weeks including big names such as Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup 2018 Golden Boot winner Harry Kane.
Mirror Sport asked Ferdinand to name his players to watch, he said: “My players to watch would be: “Obviously Mbappe. I want to see Lewandowski do it on the international stage.
“Cristiano Ronaldo, you’d love to see him perform.
“And all the English youngsters, put them in there as one.”
In terms of top goalscorer, Ferdinand believes the winner will depend on how far England go in the tournament.
“If England get to the semi-finals I think Harry Kane will be the top goalscorer of the tournament,” he said.
“If they don’t get to the semi-finals I think Mbappe.
“Outside bet Benzema – what a fairytale that would be.”
France remain the Euro 2020 favourites and Ferdinand himself can’t see past Les Bleus picking up the international major.
When asked who he thinks will win, he replied: “France.
“I think France’s reserves will get to the semi-finals. I think France are the team beat.
“I think Portugal are the outside bet. Attacking team with the players they’ve got.
“Team who might go late in the tournament and surprise a few is Turkey. I like Turkey’s squad. Whenever I’ve seen that squad there’s a togetherness. I think a lot of them are familiar and come through the youth system which is important.”
England take on Croatia on Sunday as Gareth Southgate aims to inflict revenge on the team that knocked the Three Lions out of the World Cup semi-finals three years ago.
Ahead of the clash, Ferdinand named his strongest starting XI, based on current fitness.
He said: “My England starting XI, right now, with everyone that’s fit I’d go, because I think he’s going to play three at the back:
“Pickford; James, Stones, Shaw; Alexander-Arnold, Mount, Rice, Saka; Sancho, Kane, Foden.
“Rashford looks like he’s carrying an injury and needs a rest. Sterling hasn’t been starting yet so I want him to come on and impact the game.
“I can’t see Henderson starting the first game when he hasn’t played for three months”
Robbie Savage unveils a painting to Rio Ferdinand, depicting the former England footballer draped in a Welsh flag as part of a ‘Hall of Fame’ set up by Robbie and UEFA EURO 2020 Official Partner Heineken, ahead of this summer’s tournament.