Seven years ago the Pirelli Stadium was hosting Conference football. Now it is home to Burton Albion’s first ever season in the championship and due to the nearby St George’s Park, some of the World’s finest youth internationals.
Since 2012, England U17, U18 and U19 matches have been hosted in Burton. And three years on, some of the talent on show in these games have gone onto become European stars :
England U17’s 1 v 3 Portugal U17’s – 30th August 2013 (FA International U17s Tournament)
Patrick Roberts – Then of Fulham, now of Manchester City (On loan at Celtic)
Roberts, who scored England’s only goal in the game, has gone on to play a crucial part in qualifying Celtic for the Champions League group stages 16/17; with a goal against Lincoln Red Imps. He is now set to experience football at the highest level, with trips to the Camp Nou and Borussia Park to come.
Renato Sanches – Then of Benfica B, now of Bayern Munich and the Portuguese national team
The most expensive player to ever leave the Portuguese league, Sanches assisted a Alexandre Silva goal at the Pirelli. Number 10 that day, Renato played a key role in the latter stages of Portugal’s successful Euro 2016 campaign. Winning MOTM in the last 16 clash v Croatia, Bayern Munich paid an initial 28m to buy the Ex Benfica star. A Liga NOS (Portuguese Premier League) and Taça da Liga (Portuguese League Cup) winner as well as the Young Player of the Tournament at this Summer’s Euros, Sanches has come a long way since playing for Portugal’s U17’s.
Rúben Neves – of Porto with two senior Portugal caps
Portugal’s captain at the Pirelli, wearing the number 6 shirt, he led Portugal to a comfortable victory. His performances in the FA hosted tournament helped him soon get an U21 call up at just 17. Neves holds two records as the youngest Portuguese to appear in the Uefa Champions League and youngest player in the club’s history to score a goal in Liga NOS.
Others – Dominic Solanke, Cameron Borthwick Jackson, Lewis Cook, Josh Onomah
England U19’s 2 Scotland U19’s 1 – 26th May 2014
Ryan Gould – Then of Dundee United, now of Sporting Portugal (On loan at Vitória de Setúbal)
Highlights – https://ww w.youtube.com/watch?v=0UnE14RvJ0M
Scotland’s ‘Mini Messi’ played in one of his last matches before a 3m move to Portugal in July 2014. Sporting clearly think of Gauld as a huge talent, as he was quickly given a 48m buyout clause. He will spend the 2016/17 season getting Liga NOS experience at Vitória
England U19’s 0 Ukraine U19’s 1 – 29th May 2014 (U19 Euros Elite Round Qualifier)
Highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPWU8x44BqQ
Match Report – http://www.thefa.com/news/england/development/2014/may/england-v-ukraine-u19-elite-round-match-report
Calum Chambers – Then of Southampton, now of Arsenal (on loan at Middlesborough) and a full England international
Chambers scored an own goal in the 95th minute in front of 735 at the Pirelli, costing England the chance of going to the 2015 U20 World Cup in New Zealand. Then a Southampton RB, Chambers has gone onto play CB and RB for Arsenal after an initial 16m move and RB for England.
Others – Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Lewis Baker, Jordon Ibe, Matt Targett
The local link between the Pirelli Stadium and St George’s Park also lead to England Women playing an International with then World Champions Japan on 26h June 2013 in front of big crowd of 5,500.
With the Championship and regular Youth Internationals. Burton has become a great place to watch football.
Patrick Roberts –
Renato Sanches –
Rúben Neves –
Ryan Gould –
Calum Chambers –