Hammers at the Euros

We take a look at the Hammers who have represented their countries at the Euros
Hammers quartet Dimitri Payet, Angelo Ogbonna, James Collins and Darren Randolph have become the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth West Ham players to be included in UEFA European Championship squads.
The four, who will be representing France, Italy, Wales and the Republic of Ireland in this summer’s competition respectively, have joined up with their nations ahead of the tournament which kicks-off on 10 June in France.
It marks the first time that four West Ham players have been chosen to represent their countries in the same European Championship.
In 1968, three were selected for the tournament; Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters all travelled to Italy fresh off the back of their World Cup victory as hosts two years’ previous.
The tournament consisted of just four teams back then, and England came up against Yugoslavia in the semi-final as the Italians hosted the Soviet Union.
The Three Lions were beaten by a Dragan Dzajic goal, however, and were therefore left to contest the third place play-off against the Soviet Union, who were on the wrong end of a coin toss match-deciding decision against Italy.
Hurst, who had been left out in the semi-final, returned to the starting XI and scored the second in a 2-0 win for England to land third place, while Moore and Peters played both matches in the campaign.
The Hammers would have to wait another 12 years until one of their stars next represented the Club at a Euros, as Trevor Brooking went with England’s squad once again to Italy.
The Irons legend was involved in the first match as Belgium held the Three Lions to a 1-1 draw, however he was not in the line-up as Italy were 1-0 winners three days later.
Brooking made a scoring return to the team in the final match though, firing home the first in a 2-1 win against Spain, before England – managed by former Hammers boss Ron Greenwood – were knocked out of the tournament having finished third in the group.
There were no West Ham players involved in the next three European Championships, however two played at the tournament in ’96 – one being the current Hammers boss, Croatian Slaven Bilic.
The defender started and finished all three games as his side qualified for a place in the quarter-finals, but Germany were 2-1 winners in the contest at Old Trafford.
Defender Marc Rieper was the other Hammer involved, playing in all of holding champions Denmark’s three group games before they were eliminated at the first stage.
With no West Ham representatives at Euro 2000 or 2004, Freddie Ljungberg became the next when he went to Austria and Switzerland as captain of Sweden’s Euro 2008 squad.
After beating the previous tournament’s winners Greece 2-0 in their first outing, Ljungberg’s side lost in fixtures against Spain and Russia and were knocked out in the group stages.
Finally, former West Ham stopper Rob Green was part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad which travelled to Poland and Ukraine in 2012, but as backup to Joe Hart, he did not feature for the Three Lions.
Hammers star Payet, on the back of a superb debut season in Claret and Blue, is part of hosts France’s plans and he will be keen to play a part in Les Bleus’ group matches against Romania, Albania and Switzerland.
Collins, of course, is set to face England in the group stages for Wales, while Russia and Slovakia are the other opponents for the Dragons.
Randolph’s Republic of Ireland will take on Ogbonna’s Italy team in their final group game, as part of a tricky Group E; Belgium and Sweden are the other two opponents.