Euro 2024: Fans question Ed Sheeran’s ‘depressing’ private concert for England team

Ed Sheeran gave the Euro 2024 England team a private concert after their 2-1 extra time victory against Slovakia on Sunday (30 June).

The “Shape of You” hitmaker, 33, visited the England camp in Blankenhain to perform an intimate live gig for the team, with the audience including star player Jude Bellingham and captain Harry Kane.

Sheeran’s visit was one of many measures organised by the England team’s manager Gareth Southgate to make the tournament as enjoyable as possible for the players. However, fans commented that the athletes looked miserable during the Grammy winner’s performance.

In the video, Sheeran is standing in front of the room singing his hit song “The A Team” on an acoustic guitar, while some of the players film him on their mobile phones with deadpan expressions on their faces.

“Lately, her face seems slowly sinking, wasting, crumbling like pastries. And they scream, the worst things in life come free to us,” Sheeran sings in the emotional song, which is about a homeless woman who is addicted to crack cocaine.

England fans on X/Twitter were quick to question whether Sheeran’s performance would have been as morale-boosting for the England squad as Southgate intended, ahead of their next game against Switzerland on Saturday (6 July).

“Got these boys looking depressed, no wonder the football’s looking terrible,” one person wrote on X/Twitter.

“Aren’t the players already depressed enough?” a second fan questioned, while a third claimed: “Yeah we’re going out [of the tournament] boys.”

Sheeran’s latest performance is not the first time he has played for the England team. Back in 2020, he visited the squad ahead of their final against Italy, which they lost on penalties.

Speaking to Peter Crouch on the BBC’s Crouchy’s Year-Late Euros programme, Sheeran claimed a private performance he’d given to the England squad at a barbecue in 2021 had been one of the best moments of his career.

“At the end of the night, we’re in a circle, all hands around,” recalled the singer. “I mean for me, just as an English boy, being in the centre of the England team, it was really great.

“I’ve had amazing moments in my life, but I don’t think there’s many moments that will top that.”