England manager Roy Hodgson admitted today that his Euro 2016 squad was copied straight from the double-page England spread in the popular Panini Euro2016 Sticker Collection.
Speaking at a press conference at the formal squad announcement, Hodgson announced: ‘These guys at Panini have been doing it for 30 years, they know football inside out.’ ‘I looked at the 20 England players they had selected for the album, and although there were a couple of names I didn’t recognise, mostly they were spot on. It was as good as anything I can come up with.’
An avid Panini sticker collector himself, Hodgson indicated that he had already completed most of his album, including all the England page, and had at least 10 swaps of Luke Shaw.
When challenged that at least four of the players listed on the England pages were injured and would miss the Euros, Hodgson defended his decision arguing, 'I have to balance injury considerations alongside the aesthetic feel of my Panini album, which would suffer if players listed didn't actually travel to the tournament.'
Hodgson also asked if anyone could help him with a swap of Berat Djimsiti of Albania (number 70), as this was still a ‘need’ for him.