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Euro 2016: Bale, Alli, Veseli – EFL connections at the European Championships

10 June 2016

With 552 players being called up to this summer's European Championship, there are numerous names with EFL connections, aside of the ones currently playing in any of the three divisions.

From Real Madrid's Welsh supremo Gareth Bale to Albania defender Frederic Veseli, a whole host of other Euro 2016 players have appeared in the EFL - when it was known as The Football League - at various stages of their careers.

Read more: Euro 2016: EFL well represented at upcoming Championships

Veseli started out at Manchester City before signing for Ipswich Town, Bury and Port Vale, while Bale was a sensation in his League days when playing for Southampton, and was named the EFL Young Player of the Year at the 2007 League Awards.

In 2015, Dele Alli was the player to collect that honour, and he has since gone on to receive wide acclaim in his first season at Tottenham Hotspur. In turn, he has been given international recognition and is set to play a starring role in Roy Hodgson's England team.

Harry Kane is another pivotal player in the Three Lions' squad and his well-known story took in loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City, bedding him in to senior football.

BBC Sport: Harry Kane – the making of the England striker 

Joe Hart and John Stones started out at EFL clubs – Shrewsbury Town and Barnsley respectively – while the likes of talismanic front man Jamie Vardy and Wales captain Ashley Williams have appeared in the EFL on their way to the top flight.

Talking of Hart, he is one of three former Tranmere Rovers goalkeepers who will be at the Championships. When Rovers were in The League, England's number one enjoyed a loan spell with them, while Wales' Owain Fon Williams played nearly 200 times for the Prenton Park outfit. The other former Tranmere stopper is Hungary's Peter Gulacsi, who had two loan stints from Liverpool in 2010.

Three other Hungarians have also played in The League, in trouser-wearing Gabor Kiraly, Tamas Kadar and Tamas Priskin, while Iceland also have a core of players with EFL experience.

Emil Hallfredsson may be familiar to Barnsley fans having spent the majority of 2009/10 on loan at Oakwell, and there's also Kari Arnason, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Eidur Gudjohnsen who have been called up to Iceland's squad for what is set to be a thrilling tournament, which gets under way at the Stade de France on Friday 10th June when hosts France take on Romania.

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