From Steve McManaman to Xabi Alonso, Merseyside players have a history of capturing the headlines at the European football championships.

Steve Mcmanaman and Robbie Fowler at the England training camp ahead of the Euro 2000 qualifying match against Luxembourg being played this Saturday.
2nd September 1999.

Many have been selected for the teams of the tournament from 1988 to 2012 – including Liverpool stalwart Steven Gerrard, Milan Baros and Fernando Torres.

Everton’s Wayne Rooney took Euro 2004 by storm when he became the youngest scorer in the history of the competition in England’s 3-0 victory over Switzerland in Portugal.

EVERTON V CHELSEA 2003 – 04 PREMIERSHIP FOOTBALL AT GOODISON PARK. CHELSEA WON 1-0
EVERTON STRIKER WAYNE ROONEY AND WAYNE BRIDGE. ©Mirrorpix

And there’s no forgetting Ronald Koeman, who played as a combative defender for Holland in Euro 1988 before managing Everton for just over a season in 2016-17.

Everton v Liverpool – Barclays Premier League – Goodison Park – 19/12/16
Merseyside Derby Managers Ronald Koeman and Jurgen Klopp. Monday 19th December 2016.

Holland won Euro 1988 by beating the Soviet Union 2-0 in the final at Munich. Koeman was joined by five of the Dutch side in the team of the tournament.

He remains the top-scoring defender in world football, renowned for his accurate free kicks and penalties. He scored 90 goals for Barcelona in all competitions.

England were on the wrong end of Koeman’s dead-ball mastery when he scored a free kick against them in Holland’s 2-0 win in the 1993 World Cup qualifying match in Rotterdam.

Holland 2-0 England World Cup Qualifier, football match at the de Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam Holland 13th October 1993.
Ronald Koeman celebrates after scoring goal

It cost England their place in the 1994 World Cup and manager Graham Taylor his job.

Bootle-born midfielder Steve McManaman was one of four England players to make the Euro 1996 team of the tournament. The others were top scorer Alan Shearer, who netted five goals, goalkeeper David Seaman and fellow midfielder Paul Gascoigne.

England went out in the semi-finals after losing an agonising penalty shoot-out to eventual winners Germany at Wembley.

Liverpool legend McManaman played 37 times for England from 1994 to 2001, scoring three goals. He formed a formidable partnership with Robbie Fowler for club and country.

In fact, according to Sky Sports in 2018, the McManaman-Fowler combination achieved the third greatest number of goal assists in the Premier League. Ahead of them were Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard of Chelsea, and Terry Sheringham and Darren Anderton of Spurs.

Holland striker Wayne Rooney blazed on to the international stage when he played for England in Euro 2004 at the age of 18.

Israel V England, Tel Aviv,Israel
Wayne Rooney Shoots.

As well as being the contest’s youngest ever scorer, he was picked for the team of tournament alongside fellow England players Frank Lampard, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole.

England went out on penalties to hosts Portugal in the quarter finals after the match ended 2-2. Greece were the tournament’s surprise winners, beating Portugal 1-0 in the final.

Czech striker Milan Baros, Euro 2004’s top scorer with five goals, played for Liverpool from 2002 to 2005 after signing for £3.2 million from Banik Ostrava.

He made 68 league appearances for the Reds, scoring 19 goals, before being sold to Aston Villa for £6.5 million.

Liverpool’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres was making the headlines at Euro 2008. He scored two goals during Spain’s route to the final in Vienna where they beat Germany 1-0.

Liverpool’s new Signing Robbie Keane on the training field at Anfield with Fernando Torres, the Spanish forward, recognised as the best striker in Europe at the moment, and with Keane alongside him, a partnership beckons to rival even that of Anfield legends Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush.
29th July 2008

Torres joined Liverpool in 2007 and made 102 league appearances before being transferred to Chelsea for a reported fee of £50 million. He was a prolific scorer for the Reds, netting 65 times in the Premier League alone.

Two Liverpool players made the team of the tournament for Euro 2012 – the incomparable Steven Gerrard and Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso. Spain were once again champions, beating Italy 4-0 in the final in Kiev.

World Cup 2010. Steven Gerrard celebrates England v USA, Rustenburg.

A gifted passer of the ball, Alonso played for the Reds from 2004 to 2009. He made 143 league appearances, scoring 15 goals.

*Hundreds of pictures from an unforgettable decade are packed into Clive Hardy’s fascinating book Around Merseyside in the 1960s. It’s available at £9.99 plus postage and packaging.

Just go to inostalgia.co.uk to place your order or ring the hotline on 01928 503777.