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Eric Dier: I don't regret choosing England over Portugal

Eric Dier doesn't regret not choosing European champions Portugal Credit: PA

As Eric Dier ponders his first year as an England player he would be forgiven for wishing he had been more receptive to the overtures of Portugal, but the Tottenham man insists he has no regrets.

On November 13 last year the Tottenham midfielder made his Three Lions debut, replacing Fabian Delph in a 2-0 defeat by Spain in Alicante and England are preparing to host the same opponents in a return friendly on Tuesday.

Over the summer Dier and England tended their wounds following a Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland, while a Portugal squad laden with Dier's former team-mates and contemporaries - Rui Patricio, Cedric, Adrien Silva, William Carvalho, Joao Mario - were busy lifting the trophy in Paris.

Dier learned his trade with them at Sporting Lisbon, having left England at the age of seven, and was the subject of third-party enquiries from the Portuguese Football Federation as a teenager.

But the question of transferring his allegiance simply did not appeal and the contrasting fortunes of the two nations this summer has not changed his mind.

If England can't win anything then I want Portugal to win. I was very happy for them, but never once did I think I should be playing for Portugal. Once when I was younger they had spoken to Sporting about it, but nothing really came of it. It's a bit late to turn around now!

I'm English. I've never said the opposite. I'm 100 per cent English. In Portugal it happens that a lot of Brazilians play for Portugal and they're not Portuguese.

When I was growing up I wasn't a big fan of that. When I grew up, I always had the idea that I would play for England. I'm fully English, but Portugal is my home.

– PA


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