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Peter Crouch: 'Every Time I Played For England I Felt I Was Going To Score'

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Peter Crouch: 'Every Time I Played For England I Felt I Was Going To Score'

Peter Crouch has revealed he felt he was always going to score whenever he pulled on the England shirt.

The 6 ft 7 striker has a quite incredible record of 22 goals in 42 games for his country and tends to be remembered for his international football exploits despite an impressive Premier League career that saw him represent a slew of top clubs.

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His unique skill-set, coupled with the high-quality service he received, meant the well-travelled striker was full of confidence any time he represented the national team.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

"I get that because I moved around quite a bit and I've got association with quite a few clubs," Crouch, a EURO 2020 ambassador for Paddy Power, told SPORTbible.

"But with England, that's your one nationality. Playing for England was amazing for me.

"I know some players did better for their clubs but for me every time I played for England, I felt like I was going to score.

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"I felt like I was playing with all the best players in the world and internationally a lot of teams didn't know how to handle me.

"I just absolutely loved it. Obviously everyone loves it because it's such a proud moment but I just felt like I was going to score in every game.

"That team I was playing in was just phenomenal and as long as I got in the box I was going to have chances. It was great."

Image: Paddy Power
Image: Paddy Power
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Crouch turned out for England at two World Cups and notched his first competitive international goal against Trinidad and Tobago back in 2006.

Four years later, under Fabio Capello, Crouch was handed the No.9 shirt for the South Africa showpiece but barely featured in the disappointing campaign.

Still, 'Crouchy' was able to keep himself occupied off the pitch.

"It's only as boring as you make it, let's be honest," Crouch explained, shedding light on the activities England players partake in during their tournament down-time.

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"You can't go out much, it's just not worth it. I remember trying to go out when we were in Germany and ended up getting hounded - it was a bit too much.

"There's always a games room, the boys are so into playing games or playing on the PlayStation - there'll be a lot of that going on.

"Because they're in this country and they're at St George's Park, there'll be a lot going on for them. They won't be bored and there being so many games means they'll have to rest up.

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"I remember having a big Darts competition in South Africa, every day after dinner there was a full on competition.

"2006 was a bit different because Sven [Goran-Eriksson] was quite European in how relaxed he was. I could go down and see my family - I don't think that worked because it was probably too relaxed.

"I feel like Gareth Southgate has got a great blend - it feels like a club atmosphere and they all seem to get on really well.

"I don't think there'll be any issues off the field or anything like that at all."

Roy Keane hit headlines recently when he joked about Jordan Henderson's role at Euro 2020 involving quizzes and sing-songs.

Crouch says record goalscorer Wayne Rooney was at the heart of everything off the field during the two tournaments he participated in.

"He was always bouncing around the place," the former Spurs and Liverpool man added.

"In the afternoon a lot of players would go for a sleep after training or something like that. If you were ever thinking of going out of your room, he was always bouncing around doing something.

"He just couldn't sleep. I've seen him do Westlife many a time."

On Sunday, England kick off their delayed Euro 2020 tournament against Croatia - the side who beat them in extra time of the World Cup semi-finals over in Russia.

Three years on and with the emergence of so many exciting players, Crouch is quietly optimistic about England's chances.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"What I like about it, is it's young, it's hungry and it doesn't feel like there's anything fear in there. I think everyone's got a bit of secretive expectation but I don't think that goes on the players' shoulders.

"We've got young, exciting players who have won things. Two English clubs in the Champions League - they've played in big games at such a young age.

"People like [Jack] Grealish and [Mason] Mount, they just want the ball and they want the pressure - they enjoy it, I think.

"They are confident taking the ball with men on them. People like Grealish are so exciting to watch and Phil [Foden] - there's so many different types of threat as well with [Marcus] Rashford and Raheem [Sterling] adding that mix.

"We've got a player up top capable of winning the Golden Boot. My only worry is defensively, I don't know if against the top boys, the Mbappes and the Lewandowskis - could we become unstuck.

"It's exciting though. We're going to have to play top heavy as that's where all our best players are."

Peter Crouch is a EURO 2020 ambassador for Paddy Power, who is encouraging punters to change bookmaker as part of its 'Switch for Better' campaign. Switching to Paddy will secure a free £5 Bet Builder for every England group game. For more details, visit the Paddy Power website. If the grass looks greener, go and play on it!"

Topics: Peter Crouch, Football, Euro 2020, England

Josh Lawless
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