Lineker: 'England team is so important to this country'

Thursday 23 Apr 2015
Former England striker Lineker has his own St. George's Day message
Gary Lineker has backed Greg Dyke’s St. George’s Day message and urged young English players and their clubs to buy into the importance of international football for the national game.

FA Chairman Dyke spoke about his aim of igniting the passion of fans and players alike on St. George’s Day, with three Together For England events taking place across the country.

And the former Spurs, Barcelona and Everton striker was forthright in his views on a fruitful relationship in the future between England and the players’ clubs.

The FA Chairman speaks about the importance of England to the national game


"I’ve backed the St. George’s Day campaign myself on Twitter and social media and I’ve said before that it’s so important that we do better for the England team," Linker told

"Sometimes Premier League clubs have got to realise how important the England team is to football in this country.

"We saw that after the 1990 World Cup, there’s been nothing more important to the game in the last 30 years than what happened in ’90 and the galvanisation and enthusiasm towards football that came from that.

"All of a sudden, grounds were full everywhere and everyone loved football again.

England Under-21s line-up to face Czech Republic in Prague.

England U21s head to Czech Republic for the Euro Finals in June

"If we can do whatever we can to help the national team, it will help everyone else and have a knock-on effect all-round.

"It’s in their interest, they don’t always understand that because it’s their players and they don’t want them to get injured, but there’s just as much chance that they’ll get injured in training at the club itself."

This summer sees England’s Under-21 squad head to Czech Republic for the Euro Finals in June.

Gareth Southgate’s side reached the last eight after an impressive qualifying campaign and have since picked up good results against fellow finalists Portugal, Czech Republic and Germany.

And after winning 80 caps and scoring 49 goals for England during his career, the future fortunes of the Three Lions is something which ignites passion from the BBC’s Match of the Day presenter.

"I think it makes sense to let them play in these tournaments," he added.

"Let’s give them that experience, it’s good for them and the players want to play for their country and experience those things.


Lineker celebrates a hat-trick for England against Poland in World Cup '86.

"If you can keep squads together, as we’ve seen with the Germans, Spanish, Argentinians and other great countries like that, they have been hugely successful.

"They bring players up together and let their best kids play in these summer tournaments, because it’s a great education and experience to play in these tournaments rather than being thrust into one as a senior international.

"If we can experience a tournament in the summer such as the U21s, and we can go and win that, the confidence that exudes from that will have a great effect and influence on future events."

By Nicholas Veevers