Published 03 June 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team
Saka lives a 'childhood dream'
England’s Bukayo Saka says he lived out a childhood dream by scoring his first goal for the Three Lions.
The Arsenal youngster’s second-half strike proved to be England’s matchwinner in the first UEFA EURO 2020 warm-up game against Austria in Middlesbrough.
And he’s now aiming to add more to his tally, as Gareth Southgate’s squad look to challenge for glory at this summer’s tournament.
“I’m really happy,” said Saka after the game.
“This is a moment I dreamed of as a kid - to score my first goal for my country. I’ve come close to it in previous camps but I’m just happy to get the first one.
“It’s an amazing feeling that I hope I can feel many more times.”
The versatile 19 year old was named in the final squad for the EURO earlier in the week, so to add his maiden international goal capped off a good few days.
“It’s hard to describe,” he added.
“First of all the feeling of being selected for the EUROs is already amazing and now to get my first goal is even better and there’s just so many good things coming my way.
“I have to thank God for the blessings because it’s all because of God.
“I’m just really happy that I can experience these things. I feel like any time I play for England I really enjoy myself because of the quality and the top players I have around me.
“Things feel good, they flow and I always feel like I can express myself and I think I did that tonight.”
03 Jun 2021 10:41
'I can't describe it...'
See Bukayo Saka's reaction and the best of our behind-the-scenes footage from the Austria game
The Ealing-born winger, who started out with grassroots club Greenford Celtic, is still a relative newcomer to the senior set-up having previously featured with the Young Lions at MU17s, MU19s and MU21s level.
But he says he’s been made to feel a part of the group ever since his first call-up last October.
“Maybe I did [feel a bit star-struck] when I first came into camp but now I’ve met the lads, I’m more familiar with them and things are much more easier, I feel more at home,” he revealed.
“I feel like I can learn a bit from everyone, there’s so much different quality players especially in the attacking line.
“But even in midfield and defence, there’s so much experience I can take from everyone so I try to speak to everyone and get advice from them.
“The information I get from the coaching staff and the players makes things much easier, with all the communication from the more experienced players around me like Kieran Trippier tonight, Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings, making sure I’m where I need to be.
“For us there’s no real surprises, in camp the manager makes things really clear for us.
“We know the game plan, we know what we need to do and we have loads of quality players.”
The Three Lions will now turn their attention to their next and final warm-up game, when Romania are the visitors to the Riverside Stadium on Sunday 6 June (5pm BST).
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