England keeper Sam Johnstone will treat Euro 2020 just like a game at Barnsley, says his ex-West Brom boss Slaven Bilic - Godz
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England keeper Sam Johnstone will treat Euro 2020 just like a game at Barnsley, says his ex-West Brom boss Slaven Bilic

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SAM JOHNSTONE is so chilled he would treat the Euros exactly like a night game at Barnsley.

At least that is what Slaven Bilic believes following the keeper’s classy England debut in Sunday’s 1-0 friendly win over Romania.

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PA

Sam Johnstone enjoyed a hugely impressive debut for England – but former boss Slaven Bilic is not surprised[/caption]

Bilic was Johnstone’s manager when they clinched promotion to the Premier League with West Brom in 2020.

The Croat reckons Johnstone’s upbringing in the Manchester United academy and his naturally ice-cool temperament helps him spread reassurance through his defence.

Bilic said: “Sam is a terrific guy, he is so calm and such a hard worker.

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“He never played for Manchester United but it doesn’t matter. You know when people are coming from the big clubs, they know how to behave.

“In our first season at West Brom it was promotion and in the second he was one of our key players in the Premier League.

“And although they got relegated, he has marked his name in the Premier League.”

He added “Sam is not a loud guy. He is very calm and doesn’t speak a lot.

“He is one of those guys that gives you confidence with his calmness.

PA

Slaven Bilic is backing Sam Johnstone to shine for the Three Lions[/caption]

Ian Hodgson – The Daily Mail

The West Brom keeper made a stunning save to keep a clean sheet against Romania[/caption]

“He is relaxed but not sleepy. He is totally in a zone and in the beginning I was telling him to be louder.

“But after that, I noticed he is one of those who can calm a team down with his attitude. He is not fazed. For him it would be the same if it were a Monday night in Barnsley or a match at Euro 2020.

“It comes from your character but also from when you are at a big club and always being scrutinised.”

Bilic’s old club West Ham are one of a number of Premier League teams linked with Johnstone, 28, who could be sold by Albion following their relegation.

His superb reaction save from Romania striker Andrei Ivan was one of the few highlights from England’s performance in their final Euros warm-up.

And it puts pressure on first choice Jordan Pickford.

Johnstone had dived to his left to stop Alex Cicaldau’s shot but the ball was blocked and fell perfectly for Ivan to volley home . . . only for the Three Lions keeper to spring straight back up and leap to the other side to brilliantly palm the ball away.

Bilic, now boss of Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan, said: “Sam is a great shot-stopper, great with his feet, great technique and so quick that he can dive one side and then save impossible things the other way.

“It doesn’t surprise me, he is great on and off the pitch.

“He is a good trainer and I am big-time pleased for him.

“Before games you have people who shout and scream in the dressing room ‘Come on, let’s do this or that, blah, blah, blah’.

“He says just a couple of words because he’s in the zone. He knows what to do, you don’t have to tell him twice.”

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Who is Turkey vs Wales referee Artur Soares Dias and what other Euro 2020 matches is he officiating?

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ARTUR SOARES DIAS has been selected as a referee for this summer’s Euro 2020.

The Portuguese had served as a VAR official at the 2018 World Cup, so comes into the tournament having been at a big one.

Artur Soares Dias refereed England’s match against Brazil in 2017
Times Newspapers Ltd

Who is Artur Soares Dias?

Soares Dias has been refereeing since 2010.

The star refereed England’s friendly match against Brazil in November 2017, which ended 0-0.

He kept his cards close to his chest that night and only booked Jake Livermore for a late tackle on Neymar.

The 41-year-old has been used an additional assistant referee for several Champions League games.

He refereed a number of Europa League matches during the 2012/13 season.

In 2017, the Portuguese official and his family received death threats before he was due to officiate the Primeira Liga match between Paco de Ferreira and FC Porto.

Artur Soares Dias is refereeing at Euro 2020
AFP

What other matches will he be refereeing at Euro 2020?

Dias has yet to receive his matches for the next round of fixtures.

The tournament concludes on July 11.

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What do the Olympic rings represent?

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THE delayed Tokyo Olympics are set to go ahead on July 23 – despite the city declaring a state of emergency over the Covid pandemic.

With the Olympic Games opening ceremony now less than 200 days away, we take a look at what those famous Olympic rings represent.

The Olympic rings in 2016
AP:Associated Press

What do the Olympic rings represent?

The five interlocking multicoloured rings were first presented in 1913 and designed by French aristocrat Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin.

The rings made their first appearance at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium, with the colours said to represent the national flags of competing nations.

According to Coubertin, “these five rings represent the five parts of the world now won over to the cause of olympism and ready to accept its fecund rivalries.

What is more, the six colors thus combined reproduce those of all nations without exception.

The Olympic rings are loaded with symbolism
AP:Associated Press
PA:Press Association

The Olympic rings were forged in front of the audience’s eyes at the opening ceremony for London 2012[/caption]

Coubertin was said to have been inspired to include the rings because of his time as president of the French sports-governing body, the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA), and to represent the five continents.

According to the Olympic charter, the Olympic symbol “expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.”

How many countries and continents compete in the Olympics?

There are currently 206 National Olympic Committees, spread out over five continents across the globe and every nation is represented.

Each National Olympic Committee represents a competing nation at the Games, such as the British Virgin Islands, Bhutan, American Samoa, Comoros and Cape Verde.

How many athletes compete in the Olympic Games?

This number tends to differ each year, but at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, 11, 237 athletes took part.

This included 6,178 men and 5,059 women.

Nearly 3,000 athletes competed at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, consisting of 1,664 men and 1,169 women.

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Euro 2020 LIVE: Ronaldo snub causes £4bn Coca-Cola loss, Pogba does same with Heineken bottle, Wales vs Turkey build-up

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EURO 2020 is in full swing!

And it’s been another frantic day, with Portugal leaving it late to beat Hungary before France saw off Germany.

England are gearing up for their clash with Scotland on Friday.

And Wales are in action against Turkey TONIGHT in a must-win game for Robert Page’s side.

Royal Ascot day two special

 

Follow all of the latest news, build up and updates below…

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