Euro 2016 Team Of The Tournament
- 11 Jul 2016
Portugal were crowned champion's on Sunday evening, bringing to a close this year's tournement in France, and as the host nation begin to drown their sorrows, we can now look back over the competition and take stock of the great individual performances which have taken place over the last 4 weeks
GK- Michael McGovern
Northern Ireland did incredibly well to reach the last 16 of the tournament, and they owe much of that success to the heroics of goalkeeper Michael McGovern. McGovern produced a string of fine performances, and his display against Germany was a particular highlight, as he produced save after to save to keep Northern Ireland’s goal difference in touch with qualification.
DEF- Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini was a rock for Italy, marshalling their backline expertly throughout the competition. Chiellini almost had a telepathic understanding with goalkeeper Buffon, and he barley put a foot wrong as Italy progressed to the Semi-Finals.
DEF- Leonardo Bonucci
Italy proved a lot of people wrong at this years tournament, written off by many, the Italians were extremely well organised, with teams consistently struggling to break them down. Bounucci formed a formidable partnership with club mate Chiellini, and they were largely responsible for producing the heart of Italy’s almost impenetrable defence
DEF – Pepe
Pepe will never be everyone’s favourite player, but he has truly excelled at this summer’s championships. Despite Portugal looking vulnerable in the group stages, Pepe was a key part in the defensive organisation which Portugal built their victory on, and he saved his best performance for the final, as he threw himself into every challenge to thwart France’s attacking talent.
DEF MID – Toni Kroos
Germany will have been disappointed not to have gone all the way in France, but no fault lies at the door of Toni Kross who gave many a commanding performance in the competition. Kroos was a master at dictating the tempo of a match, and he easily makes the team of the tournament
MID – Renato Sanches
At only 18 years of age, Renato Sanchez has been a revelation at this summer’s tournament. After completing a transfer to Bayern Munich, much was expected of the young Portuguese, and he has met that with a string of fine performances, including a match saving equaliser against Poland, going on to become the youngest ever player in the final
MID- Aaron Ramsey
Wales were outsiders to even qualify, but they shocked everyone by not only toping their group, but going all the way to the Semi’s as well. Much attention is obviously placed on Bale, but Ramsey has been a commanding presence in their midfield, and his displays for Wales give genuine credibility for calls to name him player of the tournament. His importance was magnified in Wales defeat to Portugal, as his dynamism and drive from midfield could not be replicated.
ATT MID- Payet
France were many people’s favourites for the tournament, and while some of their flair players failed to truly sparkle, the same cannot be said of Payet. Payet carried France’s struggling attack for large parts of the competition, popping up with vital goals throughout its course. His importance was clearly noted by the French fans as they clearly booed the decision to substitute him in the final.
FWD – Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann’s stock further rose in this competition as he spearheaded France’s charge to the final. Griezmann finished as the tournaments top goal scorer, and his consistency, as well as all round play, meant that he had to be included in the team of the tournament.
Bale was expected to carry Welsh hopes in France, and he certainly didn’t disappoint, scoring three times, whilst proving to be a constant menace for opposition defenders. Bale was not crippled by the weight of expectation, but rather inspired by it, and the way in which he led Wales charge to the Semi-Final’s will surely inspire the next generation of Welsh players
After years of sacrifice and effort, Ronaldo can finally add a major international trophy to his incredibly impressive honours list. Ronaldo may not of been at his sparkling best during the course of the tournament, but without him Portugal would not have emerged with the trophy. Against Hungary, it was Ronaldo’s two goals which saved Portugal, and allowed them to progress to the knockout stages, while it was his towering header which allowed them to turn the tide against Wales in the Semi’s.