Newcastle United cult hero targets England scalp at Euro 2024 and gives honest Tyneside weather verdict

Aleksandar Mitrovic during his Newcastle United daysAleksandar Mitrovic during his Newcastle United days
Aleksandar Mitrovic during his Newcastle United days | Getty Images
Aleksandar Mitrovic is gearing up for a Euro 2024 opener against England on June 16

Former Newcastle United hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic believes England are one of the favourites to win Euro 2024.

Serbia face the Three Lions in the tournament opener on June 16 - and Mitrovic will be leading the line. The 29-year-old, now playing for Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal, is his nation’s all-time leading goalscorer.

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Mitrovic finished as the second-highest bagsman - behind Cristiano Ronaldo - to help the Blue Waves storm to the league title. Newcastle fans will remember a raw, hot-headed target man leading the line under Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez but he has since developed into the finished article.

The ex-Toon ace is now bracing himself for a tough opening game against England next month. He told Sky Sports: “I don’t think there’s a much harder game you can get in the Euros. England, for sure, if they are not the best, are one of two of three teams that are favourites to win the tournament.

“If you see the players and squad they have, the talent they have and they play together. (In the) last Euros, they were really close.”

Mitrovic - who owns a reported £400,000 per week - also reflected on his time in Saudi Arabia so far. The Serb admitted the weather makes a welcome change after eight years in England.

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"After seven years in England, I think the first thing (difference) was the sun,” Mitrovic added. “I never had summer sun in my life. It's been different you know, different culture, different football, the mentality of people as well but so far I'm really happy. 

“My family is happy. The club is amazing so far. It's a great experience and I'm looking forward to many more years. The people here are crazy about football but you have a bit more privacy here. We live in a compound, we're a little bit more isolated and people from Europe and around the world live there. Life is nice. You wake up, have breakfast, do a little workout and then recover in the pool in the sun.

"The physicality of the league, of the players, the tempo of the game is different. If a few big names join it's going to be big again for sure. Any of the big names is going to have a big impact and would be welcomed with open hands. If they come they will improve our league. A lot of players from Europe, you know they call and ask how can they get here. A lot (of calls) trust me."

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