We have put the ‘there’s always a Rovers connection’ to the test with the 24 teams competing at Euro 2020...


Turkey – Senol Gunes, now into his second spell in charge of the national team, was responsible for persuading Tugay to continuing playing on for his country beyond 2003 which he had earmarked as his swansong. Of his 97 caps, 32 came while at Rovers.

Italy – Rovers have just signed up to Italian Sports Manufacturer Macron, while Dino Baggio, who won 60 caps for Italy, made his first Rovers appearance in a reserve game at Morecambe in front of 767 supporters.

Wales – It was the Welsh connection that enabled Rovers to persuade Craig Bellamy to join in 2005, the only disappointment, his spell only lasted one season, with Mark Hughes in charge.

Switzerland – Stephane Henchoz’s 92 Rovers appearances will be fondly remembered by supporters, the combined 15 of Bruno Berner, Johannes Vogel and Oumar Konde less so, while the Grasshopper Zurich strip is said to be based around the blue and white halves of Rovers.

Denmark – The last time Rovers players were selected for a World Cup was in 2010, with Lars Jacobsen among them, before being sold to West Ham after appearing in the 2010 finals in South Africa, while Per Pedersen was described as ‘the hottest attacking property in the Danish League’ when joining for £2.5m in 1997.

Finland – Back the Finns as much as you want, but please don’t try the Shefki Kuqi flop at home.

Belgium – Thomas Kaminski, the first ever Belgian to represent the club, is on the standby list for the Euros squad. That Rovers’ one possible representative could be for the No.1 ranked team in the world is something to savour.

Russia – Stanislav Cherchesov, the Russia manager, played in goal for Spartak Moscow against Rovers in their Champions League meetings in 1995.

Netherlands – We all know about the dangers of signing players based upon their form at a European Championship or World Cup. In 2007, Netherlands were the winners of the Under-21 tournament with Maceo Rigters the top scorer, form which saw Rovers snap him up. He left after just two appearances, and five years later he was retired.

Ukraine – Roman Yaremchuk, the Ukraine striker, played with Rovers number one Thomas Kaminski during their time at KAA Gent.

Austria – Rovers have spent three summers in Austria building up for the new season and did so after promotion to the Premier League in 2001, including a 12-0 win over Sport Union Abtenau.

North Macedonia – You’ll do well to remember Filip Pivkovski, signed from Malmo in 2009 before leaving three years later without making a first-team appearance. The attacker is now 27 and has pledged his allegiance to North Macedonia after representing Sweden up to Under-19s level. Currently plying his trade in the Swedish third tier.

England – The member of the current England squad to score against Rovers most recently? Tyrone Mings, for Aston Villa, in March 2019. Marcus Rashford netted in an FA Cup meeting in February 2017 at Ewood. Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate scouted Mason Mount when playing against Rovers for Derby in October 2018.

Croatia – Manager Zlatko Dalic sent former Rovers striker Nikola Kalinic home during the 2018 World Cup after he refused to come on as a substitute against Nigeria. Croatia went on to finish as runners-up.

Scotland – Two Rovers players were on the pitch the last time England played Scotland in a tournament, as Alan Shearer and Colin Hendry lined up on opposite sides. Hendry is already dreading the endless clips of Paul Gascoigne’s goal being replayed this summer. Billy McKinlay and Kevin Gallacher were also in the Scotland squad that summer.

Czech Republic – Rovers have never had anyone from the Czech Republic represent them, but Sergio Peter did leave them for Sparta Prague in 2001, who they met in a friendly in 2017.

Spain – Yordi won the Spanish Cup in 2000, and was a League Cup winner with Rovers a year later, making his debut off the bench in the win over Tottenham while Ruben Rochina is still plying his trade in La Liga with Levante.

Sweden – Sven Goran Eriksson was primed to become Rovers’ first overseas manager in the summer of 1997, with a deal agreed six months earlier, only for a change of heart to follow as he stayed in Italy. Rovers did then land a manager from Italy, Englishman Roy Hodgson joining from Inter.

Poland – Something about Robert Lewandowski, a volcanic ash cloud, and a move not going through, seems to ring a bell.

Slovakia – New Zealand, captained by then Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen, claimed their first ever World Cup point against Slovakia in 2010. Vratislav Gresko also played 34 times for Slovakia, scoring twice, finishing his career with Zeleziarne Podbrezova before retiring in 2015.

Hungary – Bill Eckersley clocked up more than 400 appearances for Rovers, winning 25 England caps, the last of which came against Hungary in 1925.

Portugal – Joao Moutinho, now with Wolves, has been named in the Portugal squad. He played against Rovers in a pre-season friendly for Sporting in August 2004, one the visitors won 1-0.

France – Willem Tomlinson made his Rovers debut off the bench against Manchester United in February 2017. His first act, to crunch midfielder Paul Pogba, while Connor Mahoney also brought cheers for nutmegging the Frenchman in the FA Cup tie.

Germany – The last Rovers player to score for England was Alan Shearer against Germany in the semi-final of Euro 96.