Here’s a look at Boro players to fly the flag at Euros gone by…

EURO ’96

Football coming home, Euro fever sweeping the nation, and a Boro player in the thick of it. Midfield prospect Nick Barmby was included in Terry Venables’ squad for hosts England on the back of an exhilarating first season at the Riverside with plucky top flight newcomers Boro.

Nick Barmby in action against the Netherlands

Boss Bryan Robson, who’d played for the Three Lions at Euro ’88 alongside coaching assistant Viv Anderson, was also understudy to Venables on national duty and no doubt plugged for Barmby’s involvement.

The midfielder would make three substitute appearances including England’s curtain-raiser against Switzerland, their scintillating 4-1 win over the Netherlands, and the penalty shootout victory against Spain, where he was due to take the next spot-kick before Miguel Ángel Nadal’s miss.

In what seems scarcely believable in hindsight, future Boro boss Venables made no subs at all in the ill-fated 120-minute semi-final slog against Germany at Wembley, meaning Barmby was not involved. Of course, it was another man with a Boro connection, Gareth Southgate, who missed the crucial penalty. 

Meanwhile, defender Derek Whyte was included for England’s Group A opponents Scotland without making a tournament appearance.

Italy's Fabrizio Ravanelli

There was other Boro involvement too; fans got a glimpse of strikers Fabrizio Ravanelli and Mikkel Beck starring for Italy and Denmark respectively ahead of their summer moves to Teesside.

It would be another two years before Paul Gascoigne would move to the club, while elsewhere a young Alen Boksic turned out for Croatia.

EURO 2000

The England contingent once again counted a Boro man within their ranks, club captain Paul Ince playing in all three group games for the Three Lions.

Ince won a penalty against Romania in the latter of the three matches, but defeat spelled the end of England’s campaign as well Ince’s international career - he promptly retired after the competition.

Paul Ince at Euro 2000

Elsewhere in Group A, left-back Christian Ziege earned his spot with Germany on the back of a fine first season with Boro. Ziege had represented his country at the Euros four years earlier (and would do so again in 2004) but after a brief exile, his form in a red shirt saw him reinstated for the 2000 tournament.

It proved a poor outing for the Germans, who finished rock bottom of the group, and the next time Ziege donned red it was for Liverpool, not Boro.

Christian Ziege lines up a free-kick

It wasn’t all bad news though, Ziege’s namesake would be heading to Boro with a victory medal around his neck. France’s Christian Karembeu added a European Championship medal to the World Cup win he’d picked up two years earlier, and would soon be moving from Madrid to Middlesbrough to link up with Bryan Robson’s squad.

Christian Karembeu celebrates France's victory

Again, there were a host of players involved who would call Boro home later in the careers, including Southgate, Spain’s Gaizka Mendieta and the Portuguese Abel Xavier.

EURO 2004

Fresh from writing his name into Boro folklore with a goal and a man-of-the-match performance in our Carling Cup triumph in Cardiff, Bolo Zenden was on the plane to join the Netherlands squad under Dick Advocaat.

Although not technically a Boro player at this stage having only been loaned to us from Chelsea the previous summer, the midfield hero would soon be making the switch in allegiances permanent. 

Bolo Zenden

Bolo, who’d been a regular at his home tournament four years prior, made one appearance against arch-rivals Germany in the group stage as the Dutch went on to reach the semi-finals.

On his Boro return, Bolo would be bringing a Dutch teammate with him - right-back Michael Reiziger arriving from Barcelona on a Bosman transfer.

EURO 2008

Turkish forward Tuncay Sanli had delighted the Boro fans in his first season, and was already a veteran of 50 caps before turning out for his country at the 2008 tournament.

Tuncay fills in between the posts

Tuncay registered two assists in four games, and had the rare honour of filling in with the goalkeeper’s gloves for the final minutes of an incredible comeback victory over Czech Republic.

Turkey were the tournament’s surprise package, and only lost to a late Germany winner in the final four - a match which Tuncay missed through suspension.

Another heart-on-the-sleeve Boro favourite was involved for hosts Austria, Emanuel Pogatetz recovering from an injury scare to play all three games of their unsuccessful campaign. 

Emanuel Pogatetz for Austria

At Euro 2012, Boro Academy product Stewart Downing featured for England, while past and future Boro players Sean St Ledger and Shay Given played for the Republic of Ireland.

Alvaro Negredo and Victor Valdes, competition winners with Spain, would later call the Boro home.

Alvaro Negredo with Fernando Llorente

In the Euro 2016 competition, Given was joined by soon-to-be Boro men Darren Randolph and Cyrus Christie with the Boys In Green.

A young Paddy McNair got his first taste of tournament football for Northern Ireland, who reached the knockout stage but lost to Wales in the last 16.

Paddy McNair in Euro 2016