They’re smoking hot both on and off the pitch, and we can’t wait to see these talented players heat up our screens this June at the Uefa Euro 2016 championships.
WHY WE LOVE HIM: He’s been criticised plenty for having more swagger oﬀ the football pitch than precision as a striker on the field, but he has always eventually hit back atcritics with goals. We reckon some people are just extra harsh on him for his model-worthy looks and devil-may-care attitude.
WHY WE LOVE HIM: As his team makes it to the finals of the competition for the first time, the Welsh midfielder will be looking to bring his tenacious style of play to help further their historic run. It’s hard not to want to support an underdog, especially when it’s a boyish clean-cut player like him!
WHY WE LOVE HIM: We expect him to be back in peak form, barring any new injuries – which means he’ll be more than ready to make up for missing out on Germany’s triumphant campaign at the 2014 Fifa World Cup due to an unfortunate injury with plenty of goals. Regardless, you’ll notice him on the field: those slicked-back locks and pretty-boy features are hard to miss.
WHY WE LOVE HIM: We’ll be looking out for him for reasons more than just his handsome features. Will he be able to help bring the Belgian team (who’s currently first on the Fifa World Ranking, ahead of 2014 World Cup champs Germany) to European glory and make up for a less-than-stellar performance this season at his club, Chelsea? We shall see.
WHY WE LOVE HIM: His highly creative style and impeccable passing skills have earned him a comparison to French football legend Zinedine Zidane. That said, we’re also smitten with his impish good looks and those big, Bambi-like eyes.
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Those cheekbones; those sky-blue eyes; the artfully wind-swept hair... you can’t blame us for mistaking him for a Dolce & Gabbana model who just so happens to play football on the side. But, blessed aesthetics aside, the midfielder is a regular fixture in the national squad, thanks to his dynamism and versatility in handling both defensive and oﬀensive duties.
There are five first-timers in the Uefa Euro championships this year: Slovakia, Albania, Wales, Iceland and North Ireland.
Spain and Germany hold the joint record of having won the tournament the most times (thrice).
GET READY FOR GAME NIGHT
No dingy, overcrowded neighbourhood pubs. Here are some of our favourite places to soak up all the competition excitement and grab a bite at the same time.
Hive by Wala Wala(#01-01 Furama Riverfront, 407 Havelock Road, tel: 8876-1109, www.walawala.sg)
This is a little rough around the edges, but its outdoor space can seat a 160-strong crowd and its rowdy atmosphere is perfect for getting you amped up for some football excitement.
You have a few options here that are regular spots for live football screening (such as Uncabunca, Boomarang Bistro & Bar and Harry’s), but we like Amber Nectar (pictured above) best for its menu of premium German craft beers and other uncommon pints paired with hearty grub such as sriracha chicken cutlet.
The Chop House(#01-13, I12 Katong, 112 East Coast Road, tel: 6443-1011, www.wooloo-mooloo.com/sg/the-chop-house-katong.aspx)
If you’re more of a social football fan, find a spot here. There’s just one big screen (and hence, fewer rowdy fans), and the feel-good fare of meat platters, grilled meats and burgers are fab for helping you power through the night.