Euro 2016 Special MOTD Kickabout

Euro 2016 Special

Match of the Day spin-off with the latest from the world of footie as well as top players and pundits.

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EUro 2016 has officially kicked off and I'll admit,


I'm a bit excited and I may have gone a little over


Hello bunting-of-every-nation-competing!


If you can't go all out for the start of a major


international football tournament, when can you?


It is my top picks for the players to watch throughout the competition.


Manuel Neuer, Germany's number one and probably best


Next, Paul Pogba with the hopes of the host nation


Then, one of the most highly rated footballers in the world,


Onto the home nations, another world-class player


with another man bun hairstyle, Gareth Bale.


Then, England's goal machine Harry Kane, and last but not least,


Northern Ireland's talisman midfielder Steven Davis.


They are just some of the stars entertaining us over the next month.


First, what's coming up on today's show...


We retrace the steps of Gareth Bale from Cardiff schoolboy to Galactico


Major tournaments are not all about the big teams,


Albanian fan Dario gives us the lowdown on his


And Lewis Dunn, better known as CBBC's Jamie Johnson,


is the first to reveal his first dream Euro five a side team.


As if the tournament starting wasn't exciting enough,


we also have a brand-new website which will have regular


updates from France, plus quizzes, goals, games,


You can send in video clips, why not try and recreate your


You never know, you might end up on telly too!


This man will be on telly and radio a lot, it's Match Of The Day


Barring playing on the pitch, that is everyone's dream job!


Hi, I'm Conor McNamara and I've arrived in France for Euro 2016.


I will spend the next month travelling up and down the country.


I will try to bring you a bit of the flavour of what it is like.


I will upload video clips to the Match Of The Day Kickabout


website, make sure that you check in regularly for those.


And we also have your chance to record your voice


Go to the website and the Kickabout page for details to how you can


For anyone who watches the show regularly, you know that I love


a good stat or two, or three, or four!


This year is sure to throw a few more zingers along the way.


What about the lesser-known facts that you may have missed?


Here is my rapid round-up to bring you up to speed, the official mascot


is called Super Victor, who has come across a magic treasure


chest while having a kickabout with his friends.


Not surprisingly, his colours are the official colours


And this is the beautiful game, it takes 18 months of testing


to bring out one of these and it has better grip and visibility


As for the teams, if you thought Spain were footballing heavyweights,


you would be wrong, they have the second lightest squad


Germany are the heaviest and will be hoping to throw their weight around


England are this year's young guns with an average


Ireland's players may be nursing aching limbs,


Not bad considering Robbie Keane must be 105 now!


Not content with having the youngest team now, England also


boast the youngest player in Marcus Rashford, only 18.5.


Shay Given, on the other hand, both 22 years his senior


The tallest player of the tournament happens to be


He is 2.3 metres high - Lorenzo Insignue,


at 1.63 metres, is the shortest player of the Euros.


Right, while I catch my breath, these are the fixtures today.


Two of our teams start their campaigns today.


The first is Wales who, later this afternoon,


here in the 42,000 seater stadium in Bordeaux.


Chris Coleman's men were given a fantastic sendoff


Buoyed by the news that star man Gareth Bale got through the


But how does a shy schoolboy from Cardiff become the world's most


Seeing him do it and being from the same background makes


When we see pictures, it gives you a drive to do


Everyone here wants to be the next Gareth Bale.


COMMENTATOR: It's Gareth Bale, he is brilliant!


It is inspiring, looking at someone who went to the school and has


And now he's at Madrid, one of the best clubs in the world.


I remember how thinking, how far would he get?


I have to admit I wasn't expecting this level.


We are proud of him in terms of what he's done.


Never wanted him to miss a school game, that's important!


It's about a young man reaching his dream and it's great


to see the next generation of players are inspired


Yes, the school has developed over numerous years to honour basically


young male and female athletes that have represented Wales


That is one from when he played Southampton.


He played in the FA youth cup, a year younger


You haven't changed much but Gareth has!


He has developed massively since he left school,


it is an inspiration for the small football players, who


Very quietly, it was lovely when we put this up on the wall,


He had come back and presented a shirt.


He had great vision and a great touch.


I think most importantly a great attitude.


He had that drive and dedication to achieve his goals, and be


It's funny, you see a young man's dream come true.


It is a male and female's dream of doing it.


If we played a small part in helping these young men and women


achieve their potential, and their goals in life, we are happy.


And Wales have got to be hoping for a win against Slovakia,


especially with the likes of Russia and England in group B as well.


Those two face off this evening in Marseille.


For Roy Hodgson and his Three Lions, there has been the usual fanfare


surrounding everything they do, from boarding the plane


to the state-of-the-art training base.


It can get overwhelming so we've sifted through hours of press


coverage to create this handy England guide.


England have won all ten group matches, and will go to France


I believe that if they perform any thing like to the level


that they are capable of performing we will be a hard team to beat.


It's simply a question of taking the extra attacker or midfielder,


we decided the extra attacker - so Marcus Rashford was included.


Some players, you just let them play.


I'm excited and proud to lead the team into the tournament.


And believe we have a good enough squad to do well.


Our main aim was to get out the group and obviously


I remember as a kid, growing up and watching it.


I'm over the moon, I received a text from England telling me


We will be a young squad, we are very lucky.


We will experience this every week, and it is a great honour.


I think it is important to be confident and concentrate,


going into the final and hopefully start


So, all eyes are on England to see if they can win


But it isn't just the big teams who get to perform


For countries like Albania who play Switzerland at lunchtime,


it is a huge achievement just to get this far.


As is Dario, who lives in the UK, but supports the Eagles.


My name is Dario and I'm a big Albania fan.


It is one of the key events in Albania.


I've been an Albania fan for three years now.


I love that they've started with a small team and


Now they've got to the Euros, which they could do really good at.


Is the first time Albania has ever been to a major tournament.


I will be going to the Euros to see them play Romania.


Me and my dad are there for three days, it will be a good trip.


Romania 's nickname is their Eagles, and my favourite player


He always looks to help his team out.


If Albania played England, and it would be tough.


If England score I would be cheering, but if Albania score


It is my home country against my home country again.


What I like about Albania is when we go there,


There are a lot of mountains and lakes.


Albania paint their buildings with yellow,


The chant Albanians use for a football match is an eagle.


You may have noticed that CBBC is football mad


If you haven't seen new drama Jamie Johnson,


The episodes are on iPlayer right now.


Lead character Jamie is played by Lewis Dunn, the first


I'm Jamie Johnson and this is my dream Euro five aside.


I'm Jamie Johnson and this is my dream Euro five a side.


In defence, Smalling and Stones, Smalling has had a great season


John Stones, he had a great season for Everton.


In midfield, Jamie Johnson and Marcus Rashford upfront,


because he is fast with a good finish.


That is my Euro dream five aside team.


Throughout the tournament you can send in your Euro five a side teams.


I am expecting your selections to change as matches progress.


I will be regularly updating mine and every week on the show


we will follow the most popular player selections.


Once today's three big matches are out the way,


there is only another three more tomorrow.


World champions Germany play Ukraine in group C.


It is fair to say that they are using their world champion status


Look at this big gold World Cup badge on the shirt,


Before that, Northern Ireland play their historic campaign


It is a massive achievement for the manager Michael O'Neill


and for his team to get to this stage.


We all dream of wearing the Northern Ireland Crest, and emulating the


late and great George Best. We've hosted every tournament since 1986


-- been in. We thought we would be on a roll but we did not qualify. It


was making us sick. We had missed out on every tournament since 1986.


We managed to finish top of the group. That's fantastic, thank you


guys. It had been a long time coming, 30


years. And a whole generation of Northern Ireland fans have never had


the chance to see their country play in a major tournament. There is a


huge sense of excitement in the whole country. We will make


ourselves difficult to beat and we have played some great football,


that is why we have to replicate in the finals. If you look at the likes


of Lewandowski, he is in the top three in the world. Looking at the


German squad, they are so strong in every department. Jamie Ward is a


player who is very exciting to watch committee has great skill, pace and


power. Steven Davis has great ability to have the ball under


pressure. They are two players that I will


pick out most that you will see some indifferent from.


Michael O'Neill, you've inspired me to predict a win for Northern


Ireland tomorrow against Poland. I can then write it on my Kickabout


Euro 2016 wall chart which, by the way, you can download and print from


the website. That's all we've got time for I'm


afraid. I will leave you with a taste of the Superstars hoping to


put themselves in the history books over the next few weeks. Au revoir!




Match of the Day spin-off aimed at children aged 7 to 13, bringing viewers the latest from the world of footie as well as top players and pundits.

Featuring goals, gossip, stats and skills, and all you need to know about the nation's favourite sport.

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