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They Impressed at the Euros (Part Two)

Continuing the series looking at players who earned big money moves on the strength of what they achieved playing For Part One for their national sides at the European Championship.

For Part One, please click here.

Henrik Larsson

Swedish striker Larsson had already enjoyed a glittering career in Scotland with Celtic, with whom he won four league titles, and the Scottish and League Cup s twice each. He had also been named Footballer of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year in successive years.

He left Celtic in 2004 and hoped that a good performance at the Euros that year would earn him a high profile move to another club.

Three goals in the tournament put him firmly in the shop window, and none other than Barcelona came calling. He would win two league titles and the Champions League with them.

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer was already one of the best strikers in the Premier League, and had helped Blackburn Rovers win the title, forming a lethal partnership with Chris Sutton. However, at the start of Euro 96 he was in the middle of a prolonged dry spell for England, and he had not scored for his country for 21 months.

Manager Terry Venables resisted calls to drop him, however, and he repaid that faith with five goals, earning him the Golden Boot.

Demand for him was high after the tournament and, at one stage, it looked like he would join Manchester United. Instead, he was bought by his boyhood club, Newcastle United, for what at the time was a world record fee.

He is the all-time Premier League top scorer was one of the first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Pavel Nedvĕd

Pavel Nedvĕd was barely known outside his native Czech Republic at the start of Euros 96. However, he impressed as the Czechs made it all the way to the final, before losing to Germany, and Lazio came calling for him. despite his club, Sparta Prague, already having a verbal agreement with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven for the acquisition of his services.

Nedvĕd signed a four year contract with Lazio, winning the league title, the Coppa Italia twice and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, and then joined Juventus, where he won two more league titles, and the Ballon D’0r in 2003.

He is now vice chairman of the board of directors of the Italian club.

Lothar Matthäus

The sweeper was hardly an unknown quantity when Euro 1988 began.

He had been a Bundesliga star for years, fist with Borussia Mönchoengladbach and then with Bayern Munich, where he had skippered the side to three league titles, and a domestic double.

However, his performances at the tournament that summer announced his talent to a wider audience and Inter Milan came in for him, together with Bayern teammate Andreas Brehmer.

The move paid off because they won the Scudetto on his first season In Italy, and the UEFA Cup two years later. He was also name FIFA World Player of the Year for 1991.

In 1990 he captained West Germany to World Cup triumph, their last success before German reunification.

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