Everton Striker DCL Savouring Chance To Shine On Euro Stage

Dominic Calvert-Lewin says he feels primed and ready to showcase his qualities on the biggest stage as he prepares to represent England at the European Championship.

Speaking ahead of the Three Lions’ tournament opener against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, the Everton striker also outlined the squad’s collective hunger to lift the nation’s spirits after a “hugely difficult period” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Calvert-Lewin heads into Euro 2020 following an outstanding campaign with Everton, which saw him hit 21 goals and win the Club’s Player and Players’ Player of the Season awards.

In a wide-ranging interview, the powerhouse striker also answered a series of light-hearted questions from England supporters, revealing the food he believes helps him jump so high, the toughest player he has faced in England training, and if he has offered any fashion tips to his teammates!

Read the key points from Calvert-Lewin’s appearance on the FA’s Lion’s Den show below.

On his emotions of making the final squad for Euro 2020…

Being involved in a major tournament for England is something I’ve always strived for and dreamed of. I remember FaceTiming my mum and dad when I first heard I was in the squad, and they soon spread the word around the family!

My dad’s been the biggest influence in my career. He’s a proud man and I think he’s very proud to see his boy representing England.

It’s a fantastic feeling to be here and see the set-up at St George’s Park. It feels real now and the competition is getting closer. I’m like a kid, really, and I’m excited to play.

On the team spirit in the England squad…

I think a lot of it is down to the average age in the team. I’ve played with a lot of these lads in the Under-21s already. I know the majority of the squad and the rest I’ve played against. It’s a very together squad. We gel really well and we have the balance of age in terms of youth and experience. It’s an exciting time to be an England player.

When I stepped into the squad, I felt like I’ve been here for ages and, when you build those relationships off the pitch, it always helps. If you see your teammates get into any tough situations on the field, you want to get your mate out of trouble. 

On the team’s opportunity to lift the nation…

It’s been a difficult period of time for everyone. It’s down to us to spread that joy and happiness. We saw how people were uplifted at the World Cup in 2018 when England reached the semi-finals. So, for this tournament to come after such a difficult period of time, where people have been stuck in their houses due to the pandemic, it’s an opportunity us players are aware of.

On dealing with the pressure of playing for England…

For me, it’s not perhaps pressure…but if there is it’s important to use that pressure in a positive way. It’s a test at a level of competition I’ve not played at before so it’s an opportunity to showcase what I’m capable of – and prove to myself I’m capable.

As a collective, we back the ability we’ve got in our squad and what we’ve done so far. We go into the competition with full confidence. 

On if he has offered any fashion advice to his England teammates….

I was actually having a conversation with Jadon Sancho recently, he wasn’t asking for advice, but he was just talking about being true to who you are and what you like to wear. 

He said about me and my mate Davo [Everton midfielder Tom Davies] when we went to New York – and how it maybe set a little trend of players being willing to express themselves more and being a bit more daring in what they choose to wear. Whether that looks good or not is open to interpretation!

I’ve always been confident in myself and in my skin. The clothes I put on my back is an extension of my personality and who I am. 

On the player who has been toughest to come up against in training...

Jack Grealish is a top player. If you are playing five-a-side, you want him on your team!

On the four England players he’d pick to be in a boyband…

For some reason the one that sprung to me is Bukayo Saka. I'd say me, Bukayo, I'd throw Ben Chilwell in there...and Mason Mount – I think he’s got the boyband look! 

On what he eats to help him jump so high...

I actually eat a lot of salmon! I was confused when the ref blew the whistle for that foul when I went up for the header against Austria, I was like, 'What’s he done that for?!'. 

But, yes, I’ve always been able to jump high!