A version of this article didn’t get an awful lot of traction when I published it on The Real EFL – maybe nobody is interested. Still, it took me ages to research, so I’m dropping it on here for you to enjoy. I’ve changed up the intro to include a few Imps bits.
As we eagerly await the Euro 2020 tournament this summer, we got to thinking: how many players from the bottom two divisions have been included in squads?
This season could see the likes Brennan Johnson representing his country, as well as Josh Sheehan of League Two Newport County. If you are collecting the Euro 2020 Panini sticker book, you will already be revelling in seeing former Imps Robert Taylor in the Finland side, or Joe Morrell for Wales.
The European Championships have been going on since 1960, making these the 16th finals, but the second with a vastly expanded roster. Until 1980, only four teams took part, expanded to eight until 1996. This year, 24 teams will be looking to lift the trophy, with some League One and League Two players involved.
How many have stepped across the paint to represent their country before, whilst also appearing domestically for a side in one of the two divisions we focus on? There are only two players from League One who have started a Euros game, and only one who has appeared more than once.
I’m sure it’s a question you have never asked, but one which is about to be answered anyway. However, shall we start off with a quick section on former (or future) Imps at the Euros?
For the purpose of the article, League One will be referred to as the Third Division, and League Two the Fourth Division. It’s just clearer!