Euro 2020 team of the tournament


Euro 2020 team of the tournament

622 players were called up to represent their national teams at Euro 2020 with 484 of these seeing action.

Poland’s Kacper Kozłowski and Jude Bellingham of England were the youngest to feature, both aged just 17.

At the other end of the spectrum, 38 year olds Pepe and Maarten Stekelenburg made four appearance each for Portugal and Netherlands respectively.

Some players rose to the occasion of playing on such a huge stage so here is the 101 Great Goals team of the tournament for Euro 2020.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma – Italy

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

The first player in the team of the tournament is Gianluigi Donnarumma: the rock at the back for Italy.

At just 22 years old, he’s now won 33 caps for his country, having made 251 appearances for A.C. Milan.

With his contract at I Rossoneri having now expired, he’s set to join Paris Saint-Germain later this summer.

At Euro 2020, Donnarumma was immense so much so that he was awarded the official UEFA player of the Tournament award on Sunday night.

In doing so, he became the first goalkeeper to win the award since its inception at Euro ’96.

This is because, Donnarumma conceded just four goals in his seven appearances, saving 76.9% of the shots he faced.

His post-shot xG against was 5.5, resulting in a figure of +1.5 for how many goals he prevented, emphasising how well he performed.

What was most eye-catching though was his performances in the two penalty shootouts Italy partook in.

First, in the semi-final, he denied Álvaro Morata; an action that would be the difference between the two sides.

Then, in the final itself, he first saved from Jadon Sancho and then Bukayo Saka, the latter securing the trophy for Italy.

His predecessor in the Italy goal, Gianluigi Buffon, won 176 caps, a national record, lifting one international trophy (World Cup 2006).

Donnarumma has already matched his namesake for trophies with Italy and, who knows, he could break his caps record too one day.

Full-back: Joakim Mæhle – Denmark

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

Another Danish player in this team is a lesser-known player, at the start of the tournament anyway.

Joakim Mæhle joined Atalanta in January from Belgian club K.R.C. Genk for around €10 million; safe to say he’s worth a lot more now.

He started all six of Denmark’s matches at Euro 2020, completing all 570 minutes, playing as a left-wing-back, despite being right-footed.

For Atalanta, just four of his 25 appearances were on the left-hand side but he adapted well to his new role.

In his side’s six games, he scored two goals, bagging the fourth against Russia and the third against Wales, before providing this sumptuous assist for Kasper Dolberg in the quarter-final.

His total of three was much higher than his expected goals and assists figure of 1.8, showing how difficult the execution he pulled off was.

Going the other way, Mæhle posted 13 tackles, winning nine of them, nine blocks and ten interceptions.

Undoubtedly, he benefited from Denmark switching to a 3-4-3 formation but Mæhle has shown he has the capabilities to play in a back four too.

Centre-back: Giorgio Chiellini – Italy

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

Euro 2020 was Giorgio Chiellini’s eighth major international tournament; he’s now accumulated 112 caps and only five Italian men have more.

With Juventus, he’s won 19 major honours, including nine Scudettos and now, with Italy, the wait to lift silverware is over.

Alongside his old partner, for club and country, Leonardo Bonucci, they helped guide Gli Azzurri to Euros glory at Wembley.

Chiellini’s participation in this competition was actually in doubt when he hobbled off after just 24 minutes against Switzerland on matchday two.

But, he returned for the quarter-final tie against Belgium, in which has was absolutely immense.

The same can be said for his performances against Spain and England as the Azzurri won both of those ties to win the Euros for the first time in 53 years.

The statistics that stands out most about Chiellini’s Euros is that he ended up with a 100% record for denying players to dribble past him.

Although, as Bukayo Saka found out, he’ll do this by hook or by crook.

He was one of the best characters of this tournament and certainly one of the best players, deservedly lifting the trophy on Sunday night..

Centre-back: Simon Kjær – Denmark

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

The third and final Danish player in this team is their captain Simon Kjær.

Of course, he is in this side for his performances on the field.

The A.C. Milan centre-back captained Denmark to their first major semi-final for 29 years with his side only conceding seven goals in six matches.

He shone in a solid back three, alongside Jannik Vestergaard and Andreas Christensen, despite scoring an unfortunate own goal against England.

But it’s something not particularly football-related that earns Kjær this recognition.

When his teammate Christian Eriksen collapsed in the Finland match, Kjær was the first person over to him and immediately got Eriksen in the recovery position and administered CPR which ultimately saved his life.

He then, alongside other Danish players, formed a human wall around their stricken teammate to allow him to have the privacy he needed at the toughest moment of his life.

Football has seen many great leaders but often players shout and scream merely for show.

What Kjær did in the terrible incident he could never have planned for and that’s true leadership.

Thus, kudos to Simon Kjær, not only for his outstanding performances but also for, potentially, saving a man’s life.

Full-back: Leonardo Spinazzola – Italy

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

As mentioned when discussing Joakim Mæhle, right-footed left-backs was an unexpected theme of Euro 2020.

Luke Shaw of England may be in many people’s team of the tournament but Leonardo Spinazzola’s performances for Italy, just, sees him sneak a spot.

The 28-year-old’s club career has been understated thus far.

During seven years at Juventus, he played just 12 times for la Vecchia Signora, going on loan seven times, before moving to Roma in 2019.

However, he really shone for Gli Azzurri at this tournament and was rewarded with a winner’s medal, presented to him on crutches.

In four appearances, he provided two assists despite an xA (expected assists) figure of just 0.7

His side conceded just two goals, one of which was a penalty, in the 379 minutes he was on the field.

However, sadly, Spinazzola’s tournament was cut short after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the win over Belgium in Munich.

Nevertheless, it was exciting to see him bombing down the wing and joining in Italy’s attacks at this tournament.

When he does get back to full fitness, he may well be less encouraged to do this under José Mourinho next season at Roma.

Central-midfielder: Pedri – Spain

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

The winner of the UEFA Euro 2020 Young Player of the Tournament: Pedri.

Just last summer, as a 17-year-old, Pedri left his hometown club Las Palmas, of the Segunda División, to join FC Barcelona for around €5 million.

He made 52 appearances in his first season with the Catalan giants, scoring four goals and providing six assists, winning the Copa del Rey.

Again, despite only being 17/18 years old, he was phenomenal for Barça and, aside from Lionel Messi of course, was probably their player of the season in a generally underwhelming campaign.

Despite this, he’s only really come to the public’s wider attention during this tournament.

Pedri started all six of Spain’s matches at the Euros, racking up 629 minutes, and was the creative hub of their midfield.

In the semi-final against Italy, he completed 65 of 67 passes and ended the 90 minute period with a pass completion rate of 100%.

In total, he completed 429 of 467 passes: 91.9%.

He’s unlikely to be a flashy, scores 20+ goals a season midfielder, but Pedri is the archetypal keep the ball moving Spanish player, perhaps even the heir to Andrés Iniesta’s throne.

Given his age, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Pedri could be conducting Spain’s midfield for the next two decades.

Central-midfielder: Marco Verratti – Italy

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

Marco Verratti may have started the tournament on the sidelines but he ended it with the trophy in his hands.

The 28-year-old came into this competition carrying a knee problem having last played for his club, Paris Saint Germain, on 4 May.

This saw him miss Italy’s first two games in which his understudy, Manuel Locatelli, was terrific, scoring twice against Switzerland.

Nevertheless, for the final group game, more or less a dead-rubber against Wales, Verratti was back and was as majestic as ever.

From then on, the PSG man started all of Italy’s knockout games, providing an assist against both Belgium and England.

He completed 93.6% of his 425 passes and won 12 of 17 tackles.

But statistics will never be able to highlight just how classy a player he is on the ball.

Since joining les Parisiens in 2012 from Pescara, Verratti have won a ridiculous 27 major honours, including seven Ligue 1 title.

Despite this, winning Euro 2020 with his country will surely be the winners medal he’s most proud of.

Central-midfielder: Paul Pogba – France

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

Euro 2020 is not a tournament that’ll live long in the memory for France fans but, despite his team’s underwhelming showing, on a personal level, Paul Pogba sparkled.

He is the only player in this XI whose team didn’t reach the quarter-finals, or better, but his inclusion is fully justified.

First things first, the goal he scored against Switzerland in Les Blues’ round of 16 defeat was just gorgeous.

He’d tried almost the exact same effort against Portugal five days earlier with the effort on that occasion tipped onto the crossbar by Rui Patrício.

In numbers terms, his non-penalty expected goals and assists per 90 was 0.36.

Obviously, four games is a small sample size but this figure for Manchester United in the Premier League last season was 0.20.

This may not seem like a lot but, in this tournament, he was expected to contribute a goal once every three games whereas this was once every five at club level.

Obviously, playing alongside N’Golo Kanté will help make any midfielder perform but it’s clear that Pogba performs better for his national team.

The fact that international football is slower and less frantic probably helps Pogba’s game but surely this is something Ole Gunnar Solskjær will surely be looking at ahead of next season.

Forward: Patrik Schick – Czech Republic

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

There’s always one player at every major tournament who comes out of nowhere to score a hat full of goals.

To apply this to Patrik Schick is somewhat stretching it.

The 25-year-old currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen and is well-known having previously represented Roma, RB Leipzig and others.

But, he finished this tournament with five goals, joint-level with Cristiano Ronaldo who’s now the European Championship’s top scorer of all time.

So, in that context, Schick could be classed as a breakout star.

His effort from all of 49.7 yards against Scotland on matchday one won the 101 Great Goals goal of the tournament award but he also scored a fantastic, towering header in that game.

Schick went on to score against Croatia, Netherlands and Denmark as his side reached the quarter-finals of the Euros for the fourth time.

Incidentally, his five goals were scored from an xG just 2.4 although it does help when you score from the halfway line.

Schick actually only scored nine Bundesliga goals last season, so will this Euros performance kick start his career?

Forward: Raheem Sterling – England

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

Rewind to early June and think about who England fans are excited about.

There’s Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Champions League winner Mason Mount, acting Prime Minister Marcus Rashford and the nation’s darling Jack Grealish.

Oh, and Raheem Sterling is in the squad too.

His, by his own exceptional standards, underwhelming season at Manchester City meant that Sterling was a forgotten man.

In 2020/21 he’d scored just 14 goals and was not in Pep Guardiola’s regular XI.

Also, despite the fact all 14 of his international goals had come in competitive fixtures, he’d never scored at a tournament.

So, when Sterling’s name was on the team sheet for the Croatia game, the nation was far from rejoicing about this news.

However, Sterling started all seven of England’s games at Euro 2020, scoring their first three goals, and providing the assist for Kane’s opener against Ukraine.

Had England won the penalty shootout in Sunday’s final, Sterling would surely have been named player of the tournament.

Instead, he missed out on that award and a winners medal as others missed from 12 yards.

Nevertheless, it can’t be forgotten how much of a key figure Sterling was in getting England to the final and he deserves recognition, possibly above any other squad member.

Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal

Best XI: Euro 2020 team of the tournament

He wasn’t in the tournament for long but he made a big impact.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal came into Euro 2020 as the reigning and defending champions after winning their first Euros in France in 2016.

A Seleção were in, without doubt, the standout group alongside Germany, France and Hungary: Group F.

On matchday one, against the hosts in Budapest, Portugal looked set to be held to a goalless draw.

But, with just six minutes to play, Raphaël Guerreiro found the breakthrough before Ronaldo secured the win, scoring twice late on.

On matchday two, he opened the scoring against Germany in Munich, starting and finishing a sensational counter-attack following a Germany corner.

But, Fernando Santos’ side went on to lose that one 4-2, leaving them under pressure going into their final match against France.

In this highly-entertaining game at Puskás Aréna, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz awarded three penalties, two of which were emphatically smashed home by Ronaldo.

There was never any doubt; Ronaldo has taken 166 penalties in his career (not including shootouts), scoring 139 of them (83.7%).

In the round of 16, the defending champions crashed out, losing to Belgium at La Cartuja, and his tournament was over.

Still, it was a memorable tournament for him.

Ronaldo’s second goal against France was his 109th goal for his country, pulling level with Iran’s Ali Daei who holds the record for most international goals by a man.

Portugal’s next match is on 1 September against Republic of Ireland and you’d fully expect the record to be broken in that one.

101 Great Goals’ Euro 2020 team of the tournament

Euro 2020 team of the tournament

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Top three young players at Euro 2020


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