If you, like me, are a “club-over-country” person, it can be difficult to know which nations to support in the European Championship. Especially if, like me, you’ve never been to Europe. There are a lot of teams in the round of 16 (16 of them to be precise). In case you want to support the club with the closest ties to our beloved Foxes, we’ve put together this guide to help you choose.
Wales v. Denmark
The first match of the round is the toughest one for Leicester City supporters: Kasper Schmeichel against Danny Ward. Two of the tournament’s top goalkeepers play for the Foxes and face off in this match. You might think this was a clear-cut choice with Kasper being the #1, but the Wales connection is deep. The Greatest Fox, Andy King, earned 50 caps for Wales and future Leicester legend Gareth Bale is their talisman.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Denmark. It’s not an easy selection, but our FA Cup winning captain gets the nod.
Italy v. Austria
Based on my limited research, only one Italy international has ever played for the Leicester City. Oddly enough, it was the current Azzurri manager Roberto Mancini. The current connection to Austria isn’t much stronger. Aleksandar Dragović played 11 matches for City while on loan from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017/18. However, Christian Fuchs, who left the Foxes at the end of this past season, is a former Austria captain and current ESPN commentator.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Austria. Dragović’s 11 matches left more of an impression than Mancini’s 4, and we owe a little love to Fuchs’ team.
Netherlands v. Czech Republic
Only one player to have worn a Leicester shirt is in either side: Patrick van Aanholt. The fullback got 11 matches for us while on loan from Chelsea in 2011. Only one Czech player has ever featured for Leicester: Roman Bednar.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Netherlands. There’s not much of a connection to Holland, but there’s even less to the Czech Republic.
Belgium v. Portugal
This is the easiest one to call. Three current Foxes are in the Belgium side: Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet, and Timothy Castagne, the latter of which will miss the rest of the tournament due to an injury. Portugal could have made it interesting, but they left Ricardo Pereira out.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Belgium.
Croatia v. Spain
Croatia’s ties to Leicester are down to one man: Former City striker Andrej Kramaric. The Hoffenheim man struggled to make an impact at the King Power, making only 15 appearances. Spain, failing to select Vicente Iborra and/or Ayoze Perez, are bereft of players with connections to Leicester.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Croatia. Spain had their chance but blew it and Kramaric is not only in the side, but he starts most matches for Croatia.
France v. Switzerland
The Foxes have a single Swiss player, goalkeeper Eldin Jakupović, but he failed to make the squad. The sole, tenuous link comes courtesy of Edimilson Fernandes, who is the cousin of Gelson Fernandes. Gelson played 15 matches for the Foxes on loan from Saint-Étienne. On the other hand, Leicester legend N’Golo Kante anchors the midfield for France.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: France. Only under extreme circumstances can a Leicester supporter hope anything bad happens in Kante’s world.
England v. Germany
There are no current Leicester City players in either side. England do feature former Foxes Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell, and...hey, did you know Harry Kane spent some time on loan at the King Power? Germany have no obvious connections to Leicester, but Robert Huth played for them and I would never, ever want to get on his bad side.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Toss-up. It’s tough to care about this match from a strictly Leicester City standpoint.
Sweden v. Ukraine
This matchup has the fewest ties to City of any in the round of 16. There are no Swedes or Ukrainians on the Foxes books, and no current or former Fox plays for either country. What’s the tiebreaker here? Five Swedish players have worn the Leicester shirt: Lars-Gunnar Carlstrand, Patrik Gerrbrand, Kalle Gustafsson, Nils-Eric Johansson, and Pontus Kåmark . No player from Ukraine has ever played for City.
Suggested Leicester-centric pick: Sweden, but honestly, this is a freebie. Pick who you like.
What do you think? Who will you be supporting in the inelegantly titled Round of 16? Any selections you think we got wrong other than the “I-am-obviously-taking-the-Mickey-and-you-know-it pick”? Let us know in the comments!