Darren Anderton experienced the joy and pain of major tournaments with England.
A key player in Euro 96, where he set-up Gazza's wonder goal against Scotland and started in the demolition of Holland - look out for more memories of Euro 96 from him soon - Darren also scored in the 1998 World Cup. In total, he scored seven times in 30 England caps between 1994-2001.
Darren feels good about England's chances, but having seen first-hand what being host nation can do for a country, takes France to land the trophy on home soil.
What is your enduring memory of Euro 96?
Darren: “The whole experience - travelling to the games along the M40 with fans lining the streets, like we were pop stars. It was madness! From Gazza’s goal against Scotland to the performance against Holland, those are the moments that stick out.”
Below: Darren joins the celebrations after Teddy Sheringham scored against Holland in Euro 96
What do you think of England’s chances in Euro 2016?
Darren: “I think they have a good opportunity. It’s a good group and although I think all the group games will be tight, I would be very surprised if England don’t win the group. We have to be happy with the draw. The Wales game will be tough, a bit like Scotland in Euro 96. Hopefully we’ll get off to a win against Russia and the confidence will flow from there.”
We have 11 players at Euro 2016 including five in the England squad. What does that say about the club at the moment?
Darren: “It’s brilliant and it will be a surprise now if all five don’t start against Russia. That shows how well they have done as individuals, how well the team has done and also the manager, the way Mauricio has brought them all on as players. It’s amazing to look at the squad and the players he has introduced and made into better players. Also, to experience tournament football will only help these players going forward.”
Who else do we need to look out for in Euro 2016?
Darren: “I think Croatia will do well with Luka Modric in there, one of the best players in the world. They also have Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic up front. They might surprise a few, as might Poland. Paul Pogba (France) could be the main man in the tournament and I do think France could be the team to beat.”
Finally, who do you think will win the tournament?
Darren: “I think France will win it, being hosts gives them an advantage. England can have a good tournament as well and you need a bit of luck along the way.”
Darren Anderton played 358 times for us in all competitions between 1992-2004, including a club high 299 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 48 goals. He won the League Cup in 1999. He earned 30 caps for England, scoring seven goals and appeared in Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup.