The Superstars

The Superstars

There may be no Lionel Messi or Neymar, but some of football’s biggest names will be in France this summer.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic [Sweden]

This will probably be the Swedish striker’s last tournament, and he’ll want to go out with a bang. In 49 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain this season, Ibra hit 48 goals and provided 16 assists. Also scored 11 goals in qualifying, including three of his side’s four in the play-off against Denmark. You don’t mess with the Zlatan.

Thomas Müller [Germany]

Is he a midfielder? Is he a forward? The 26-year-old describes himself as a “Raumdeuter” or “space-investigator”. Can appear to be totally anonymous, before popping-up just where he can hurt a team most. Already has 70 caps for Germany, and will be looking to add to his 31 goals this summer.

Gianluigi Buffon [Italy]

The Juventus goalkeeper set a new Serie A record this season, going 974 minutes without conceding a goal. The 38-year-old will be protected by that Bianconeri defence again this summer, as he looks to add a European Championship to the World Cup he won in 2006. Will almost certainly hit 160 caps at Euro 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo [Portugal]

Ronaldo was criticised in some quarters earlier this season, with some pundits believing that, at 31, his best years were behind him. The Portuguese forward responded in style, finishing the season with 51 goals and 15 assists in 47 Real Madrid games. Already his country’s top-scorer of all time, he needs just three appearances in France to break Luis Figo’s cap record.

Andres Iniesta [Spain]

Eight La Liga titles. Four Champions League. Three Copa del Rey. Two European Championships. One World Cup. 107 caps for Spain. 646 appearances for Barcelona. Enough said.

Robert Lewandowski [Poland]

Top-scorer in qualifying with 13 goals, the Polish forward scored five goals in nine minutes for Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg this season. Die Wolfe were up 1-0 when Lewandowski came on after 46 minutes. By the hour mark they were 5-1 down.

Gareth Bale [Wales]

Harry Redknapp almost loaned the world’s most expensive player to Birmingham City in 2009. Since moving to Real Madrid for €100m, Bale has won the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Scored seven of Wales’ 11 goals in qualifying.

Andriy Yarmolenko [Ukraine]

The Dynamo Kiev winger has become his country's star man since Andriy Shevchenko's retirement, and has 23 goals in his 57 caps so far. At the age of 26, he has the time he needs to catch Sheva, who is Ukraine's all-time top-scorer with 48.

Paul Pogba [France]

Scored eight goals and provided 12 assists as Juventus retained the Scudetto for the fifth season in a row. With 29 caps at the age of 23, the ambitious midfielder has set himself the target of breaking Lilian Thuram's appearance record for Les Bleus.

Wayne Rooney [England]

Sections of the media appear to have turned on the England captain in recent times. Often accused of failing to live up to his potential, the striker is the Three Lions’ all-time top-scorer, and will break the appearance record with 17 more caps. At 30, you wouldn’t bet against it. At club level, Rooney has five Premier League titles, and will become Manchester United’s record goalscorer if he manages another five between now and the end of his career.