Published 10 June 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team
Sancho ready for EURO opener
Three Lions forward Jadon Sancho opens up in the Lions' Den Diary Room as England prepare for Croatia
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Jadon Sancho has only just celebrated his 21st birthday but is already blazing a trail for Borussia Dortmund, and now England, team-mate Jude Bellingham.
Despite an injury-hit season, Sancho produced 16 goals in 38 games for the Bundesliga side, including two in the DFB-Pokal Final, as they finished the season on a high with silverware.
Standing alongside Sancho and collecting his winner’s medal was 17-year-old Bellingham, who had just completed his first season in Germany having made the move from Birmingham City last summer.
Bellingham arrived in Dortmund with a big reputation for a player still so young, just as Sancho did in 2017, but his performances have exceeded all expectations and ultimately earned him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad alongside Sancho.
Now the pair will set their sights on lifting silverware once again as team-mates and as friends, although there was a little bit of jeopardy involved in the friendship according to Sancho.
“Jude Bellingham - what a guy,” said Sancho, during a visit to the Lions’ Den connected by EE Diary Room. “I remember when he came to Dortmund, it was funny because he was quite shy and quiet.
“He actually said to me at the start that he thought he wouldn’t like me. I don’t know why but as he got to know me, he started to like me and now we are really close.
“Him being 17 and called up to the EUROs is very, very big. Every time I see him I always check up on him and see how he’s doing - I’m very happy for him.”
England’s first test will come against Croatia in their opener at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 13 June - the same nation that ended the Three Lions’ hopes of getting to the 2018 World Cup Final three years ago.
Sancho was still yet to make his England debut at the time, which came in an away game against Croatia in October 2018, but both he and Bellingham have already proved there’s some truth to the adage: ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.’
“It’s going to be a big game on Sunday but I think the lads are ready,” added Sancho.
“It’s always good coming away with England and the vibe is always good - I miss them on the pitch because I play in Germany so it’s nice to see some good faces when I come back.
“We have to just train day-by-day and keep pushing each other to the limit and hopefully we get the results we want.”