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We created a list of the best performing players (in our opinion) throughout the course of the tournament.
After over a month of ups, downs, upsets and drama, the 2020 European Championships have come to an end. Needless to say, it was one of the best international tournaments in recent years and provided fans with plenty of memorable moments including Switzerland’s triumph over France, Denmark’s progression to the semi-final despite their traumatic experience in their opening game and of course Italy’s deserved final win last night.
Throughout the tournament, plenty of players proved their worth and put in some fantastic performances; some of which were household names, others which were relatively unknown on the international stage.
With that said, here’s our picks for the 2020 European Championship team of the tournament.
GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA | ITALY/FREE AGENT
The recipient of player of the tournament and Italy’s hero in not one, but two penalty shootouts, Donnarumma’s inclusion on this list is a no-brainer.
At just the age of 22, Donnarumma has already made close to 300 senior appearances for AC Milan and Italy combined. No surprise given his performances over the tournament.
Currently a free agent but destined for Paris Saint-Germain, his stock will certainly have risen over the past month. The fact that PSG will be signing him on a free is a robbery of the highest order.
Italy captain Georgio Chiellini said it best: “I’m lucky because I’ve played with Gigi Buffon – now I play with Gigi Donnarumma and it’s the same.”
22 years old.
Conceded just four times in 719 minutes.
Won two penalty shootouts.@gigiodonna1 was named the Player of the Tournament at #Euro2020 pic.twitter.com/MOvhzHmfgO
— B/R Football (@brfootball) JULY 12, 2021
KYLE WALKER | ENGLAND/MANCHESTER CITY
Often a scapegoat at international level in the past, Kyle Walker showed what he can bring to the table over the tournament.
In terms of natural right-backs, it’d be hard to argue that he wasn’t the most consistent in that position. Obviously, you also have Giovanni Di Lorenzo who deputised incredibly well for the injured Alessandro Florenzi but his poor positioning in last night’s final led to the opening goal of the match and could well have been the winner only for Leonardo Bonucci’s second half equaliser.
Overall, it was a very solid tournament for the Manchester City man.
Jose Mourinho 🗣
“My player of the tournament was Kyle Walker. From the first minute of the competition until the moment he came off in the final he was phenomenal. When I call a player an animal it is the best compliment I can do to a player. Kyle Walker – an absolute animal.” pic.twitter.com/mOFH92KAeo
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) JULY 12, 2021
LUKE SHAW | ENGLAND/MANCHESTER UNITED
Surprisingly, left back was probably the hardest position to choose from in the entire list, owing to the amount of exceptional performers in the position throughout.
We’ve went with Luke Shaw given his performance over the knockout stages in particular, but you could also make a strong case for Italy’s Leonardo Spinazzola who was arguably player of the tournament up until his until his injury in the quarter-finals against Belgium. Even Denmark’s Joakim Mæhle could be an outside shout having earned himself plenty of fans for his performances which helped his country to the semi-final.
Shaw though, after years of being vilified for years by fans, the press and even previous managers just came off the best season of his career and topped it off with some brilliant showings during the European Championships. We think he deserves his place.
What a tournament you had 🙌
Happy birthday, @LukeShaw23! pic.twitter.com/6KRPFtYrza
— England (@England) JULY 12, 2021
GIORGIO CHIELLINI | ITALY/JUVENTUS
A great character and an even better footballer. Although Donnarumma officially won Player of the Tournament, I’m sure Girogio Chiellini wasn’t too far behind in that decision.
Being 36 years of age, Chiellini has been around for a long, long time. His vast experience and know-how was on full display from the opening match all the way to the final. Making up for his lack of pace with his exceptional positional awareness and defensive IQ, he was a joy to watch throughout and his performances really encapsulated the art of defending which is so often forgotten about in comparison to the offensive side of things.
Italy’s final win was Chiellini’s first senior international honour to add to his illustrious career at club level. Well deserved.
LEONDARDO BONUCCI | ITALY/JUVENTUS
You can’t have Giorgio Chiellini on here without Leonardo Bonucci.
Like Chiellini, Bonucci isn’t blessed with pace, but that doesn’t matter when you have a partnership at centre-back like those two. The understanding they’ve developed after years and years of playing together at international and club level is unmatched in world football.
Bonucci’s equalising goal against England last night was undoubtedly Italy’s most important of the entire tournament also, and perhaps of his entire career.
Harry Maguire and Simon Kjær may have been slightly unlucky to miss out, but it would have taken something extraordinary to get in ahead of the Italian centre-back pairing.
Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini both completed the entire #EURO2020 tournament without being successfully dribbled past by an opposition player or making an error leading to a shot.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) JULY 11, 2021
JORGINHO | ITALY/CHELSEA
What a few months it’s been for Jorginho. Winning the Champions League in May and the European Championships last night, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Some people have even been calling for Ballon d’Or shouts, although that title will likely go to Lionel Messi after Argentina’s Copa America win. But even so, the fact that he’s been considered by some people just shows how much he’s progressed over the last few months. Those kind of plaudits would have almost been unimaginable a couple of months ago.
One of the heroes in the semi-final as he dispatched the winning penalty, he was very nearly at the opposite end of the spectrum having missed what would have been the winning penalty in the final. Thankfully for him though, Gianluigi Donnarumma spared his blushed with a save moments afterwards.
Other than his penalty miss in the final, Jorginho was the image of consistency and more than deserves his inclusion.
Jorginho set a new record for the most interceptions made at a single Euros (25) since 1980.
What a season he’s had 👏 pic.twitter.com/fOTUdA3n0L
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) JULY 12, 2021
PEDRI | SPAIN/BARCELONA
At just 18 years of age, Pedri was Spain’s youngest player at the tournament. He also happened to be their best.
Him being named Young Player of the Tournament was consistent with his performances over the past month.
He became somewhat of a conductor in the Spanish midfield, creating chances, rarely losing the ball and remaining calm under pressure.
His pass into the box to Mikel Oyarzabal’s feet against Italy was arguably pass of the tournament and deserved a finish at the end of it.
We’ll be hearing a lot more about Pedri in the coming years.
🗣️ Luis Enrique: “What Pedri has done in this tournament, at 18, no one has done. Not even Andrés Iniesta did that; it’s incredible, unique.”
UEFA’s team of Technical Observers have named Pedri as their Young Player of the Tournament 🇪🇸👏#EURO2020 | #ESP pic.twitter.com/NDwfFoXt2O
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) JULY 11, 2021
PAUL POGBA | FRANCE/MANCHESTER UNITED
Paul Pogba can hold his head up high despite France’s early exit to Switzerland.
The Manchester United man was France’s best player during their tenure in the competition and some of the skill he displayed over the four games was just unbelievable.
This is probably a controversial selection due to the impressive form of Marco Verratti, Nicolò Barella, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, but Pogba proved just how good he can be in his short stint at the tournament and should receive the plaudits he deserves.
👀 Paul Pogba made more accurate through balls (5) than any other player at #EURO2020
😳 He only made 𝟮 accurate through balls for Manchester United in the Premier League last season pic.twitter.com/W0Rx2kygPZ
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) JULY 12, 2021
RAHEEM STERLING | ENGLAND/MANCHESTER CITY
Criticize Sterling all you want for diving etc. but he carried England on his back for much of the tournament, particularly during the absence of Harry Kane goals in the the group stages.
Three goals and an assist isn’t bad going for a man who was excluded from his club’s starting XI towards the end of the season. He was also electric in the semi-final against Denmark, winning a controversial penalty and causing panic throughout.
He didn’t have the best final based on his standards the rest of the tournament, but at the same time he was arguably their most dangerous player going forward, instilling momentary panic for the Italians when in the box.
The fact he started every game despite the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho being available tells you all you need to know.
—Three goals, one assist
—100% of England’s goals in the group stage
—Opener vs. Germany
—Helped cause own goal vs. Denmark
—Won game-winning penalty vs. Denmark
Raheem Sterling’s tournament has been incredible ✨ pic.twitter.com/jIgBaAsrYk
— B/R Football (@brfootball) JULY 7, 2021
FEDERICO CHIESA | ITALY/JUVENTUS
No disrespect intended to Domenico Berardi who’s a good player in his own right, but it’s hard to believe that he started three games ahead of Federico Chiesa.
Chiesa looked the player most capable of making things happen when on the pitch for Italy with his electric pace, directness and eye for a goal. He was almost unlucky to end up with just the two goals, however he did only start four games, so that’s not a bad return.
At just 23, Chiesa should have a long and fruitful career ahead of him.
Star of the Match in the #EURO2020 semifinal: Federico Chiesa 🌟 pic.twitter.com/MyNMPM6TfG
— B/R Football (@brfootball) JULY 6, 2021
PATRIK SCHICK | CZECH REPUBLIC/BAYER LEVERKUSEN
Although Patrik Schick had the same amount of goals as Cristiano Ronaldo, the latter was awarded the Golden Boot due to having more assists to his name. We think Schick had the better tournament, though.
Schick was ever-present as his side made it all the way to the quarter-finals, eventually losing to Denmark despite arguably being the better side over the 90 minutes.
He was particularly impressive in the group stage against Scotland, scoring two goals in a 2-0 win. His second goal in particular was a thing of beauty and was many people’s choice for goal of the tournament, lifting the ball over David Marshall’s head from near the halfway line.
Having come off a solid campaign at club level as well as an outstanding Euros, there could be a few clubs looking at Schick over the summer.
🇨🇿 Patrik Schick 𝗚𝗢𝗟𝗔𝗭𝗢!
🔥 Will there be a better effort than THIS in the first round of games? @GazpromFootball | #EUROGOTR | #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/skA67Yqeik
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) JUNE 14, 2021