Shropshire Star

Ivan Toney plans to get a celebratory tattoo if England earn Euro 2024 glory

Brentford striker Toney was included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-player squad.

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Ivan Toney is confident England will win this summer’s European Championship – and joked he is ready to celebrate with a tattoo of the trophy on his forehead.

Gareth Southgate’s side are among the favourites to be crowned kings of the continent three years on from finishing runners-up in an agonising shoot-out defeat to Italy.

That confidence is shared by the England squad as they look to build on promising recent tournaments and replicate the women’s team by winning the Euros.

Brentford striker Toney shared his own belief about their potential in the build-up to Sunday’s Group C opener against Serbia and is ready to add to his 50-odd tattoos if they go all the way in Germany.

Asked if he would mark Euro 2024 glory with a tattoo, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: “If we win, of course. I think I’ll get the trophy on my forehead or something!”

Toney began to laugh and then said: “I think it goes without saying I’ll have to get a little memorable one, and hopefully it’s a good one.”

A tattoo of the Henri Delaunay Cup on Toney’s head looks unlikely, but he believes some kind of new artwork will be required such is his faith in this England side.

“Yeah, I believe,” he said. “I believe it with the players we have in the team.

Ivan Toney came off the bench in Friday's friendly loss to Iceland
Ivan Toney came off the bench in Friday’s friendly loss to Iceland (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We know it’s a long, long way to go and a big ask, but the players we have on a team, and I manifest things like this, so hopefully we can do it.”

Toney’s confidence in England is certainly clearer than his place in the 26-man squad had been.

The goals dried up having returning from an eighth-month Football Association betting ban with a bang in January, leading pressure to build on his place in the squad.

It appeared a straight fight between Toney and Ollie Watkins to go to Germany as skipper Harry Kane’s back-up, but boss Southgate decided to take both of them.

Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins appeared to be fighting for one spot in the Euros squad
Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins appeared to be fighting for one spot in the Euros squad (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

“It was touch and go,” Toney admitted. “Obviously, there’s a lot of great strikers out there, but I believe the manager has seen something in myself that I can bring and add to the squad to make it better.

“I’ve just got to repay him every time I get a chance to be on the field and help the team as much as I can.”

Toney says he was anxious waiting for Southgate to confirm his place in England the squad, joking it “nearly came to the point where I ended up calling him”.

But the 28-year-old fought off his inner impatience, just as he did during his extended time on the sidelines having admitted to breaching 232 betting rules.

Southgate was among those to contact the striker to offer support and, while grateful for the support, did not want pity as he dealt with a difficult period.

“I spoke to him once when it all come around,” Toney said. “But with me and the kind of person I am, I don’t want nobody to feel sorry for me.

England manager Gareth Southgate speaks to Ivan Toney before he was brought on against Iceland on Friday
England manager Gareth Southgate speaks to Ivan Toney before he was brought on against Iceland on Friday (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I don’t want them kind of messages or them phone calls because, at the end of the day, I put myself in that situation, so I deal with it. That’s how I go about things.

“I don’t want the sob stories or the calls and these kind of things. Life goes on.

“I mean, there’s people in the world that are fighting for their life and in the worst situations, so you just get on with life and move forward and that’s what I tried to do.

“I did and I came out the end and I’m here looking in front of a major tournament and hopefully do well.”

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