Mathieu Valbuena is still striking fear into defenders twice his size. But where...?

9 players from Euro 2012 we can’t believe are still playing in 2024

Euro 2012 was hosted by… Can you remember? That’s right: Poland & Ukraine. Spain were the champions—this was their frightening peak with Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, and Sergio Busquets dominating the midfield with that motion-sickness-inducing passing.

Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot, Iniesta was the player of the tournament, Slavek and Slavko were the entirely forgettable mascots, and The Rock Road to Poland was number one in the Irish music charts. Twelve years is an eternity in football.

We’ve identified nine players from the Euro 2012 squads who are still playing in 2024, and we can’t quite believe it. Numero uno—one of Manuel Pellegrini’s first signings at Manchester City.

Alvaro Negredo

Negredo was superb in La Liga. Scored basically a goal every other game whilst at Almeria and Sevilla, and after a Euro 2012 in which Negredo did well to get any game time at all since Spain were fairly anti-striker at the time, Manchester City brought him to England.

Incredibly, at the age of 38, Negredo has just been promoted back to La Liga with Real Valladolid.

Aiden McGeady

The man who outed EA Sports as charlatans, unable to perform his own signature spin in digital form, is still revolving his way down the wing for Ayr United. Unfortunately, Ayr play in the Scottish Championship and so they’re unlikely to feature in a FIFA game anytime soon.

McGeady’s Ireland went out of the tournament at the group stage, scoring only one goal. To be fair, they were in a group with Croatia, Italy, and Spain… Feels unnecessary.

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Mathieu Valbuena

The little nippy winger/number 10 was in his prime at Marseille when Euro 2012 came around. Valbuena was a beacon of hope for the short kings out there, playing on the world stage at just 5ft6in.

Valbuena has just fulfilled a one-year contract at Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot First Division. We reckon that makes him a free agent… Go get him.

Jeremy Menez

France’s winger/forward was a Pro Evo future-potential boss. Sign him young, watch him grow. Like a houseplant.

Unfortunately, Menez never really bloomed into the living-room dominating devil’s ivy his potential threatened, despite spells with Roma, PSG, and Milan. The Frenchman signed for Bari in Serie B last summer, but suffered a serious ACL injury on his debut.

The internet has Menez down as playing for ‘Foot2Rue’ in 2024.

Miguel Veloso

He’s had some haircuts, has Miguel Veloso. He has had some haircuts. The midfielder may not have played for Portugal since 2015, but he’s still very much going strong at club level.

Veloso has spent the last eight seasons in Italy with Genoa, Hellas Verona and, as of last year, Pisa. Weirdly, the Portuguese is still only 38, despite him—in our heads—having been playing since around 1879.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every UEFA European Championship-winning captain?

Luciano Narsingh

The nostalgia glands are juiced, they are tumescent, and they are firing. Luciano bloody Narsingh. In the 2012 season, whilst at Heerenveen, Narsingh notched up 22 assists, which was obviously the most in the Eredivisie.

Since going to the Euros, Narsingh turned up at Swansea, Feyenoord, Twente, Sydney FC in Australia, Miedz Legnica in Poland, and Nea Salamina in Cyprus. Wonder if he ever goes for a souvlakia with Valbuena…

Igor Akinfeev

The bloke made his CSKA Moscow debut in 2003 and, over 750 games later, he’s still playing pretty much every game. A robot. The man is a robot. Genuinely reckon he’ll probably reach a thousand.

Kostas Mitroglou

Fulham signed Greek striker Mitroglou for £12million from Olympiacos back in 2014. He played three games. That’s £4million per game. Good lord.

Greece went out in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, defeated 4-2 by Germany. Mitroglou didn’t manage to score at the tournament. Mitrogoal is now playing for a team called *checks notes* Scherpenberg.

Lukasz Piszczek

Borussia Dortmund’s legendary right-back was, of course, representing Poland at their home tournament in 2012, but we had no idea he was still playing in 2024.

Having left Dortmund in 2021, Piszczek is now player/manager for—and bare with us here—Goczalkowice-Zdroj in his native Poland. They play in the fourth tier and Piszczek’s childhood club. Wholesome.