UEFA revealed their team of the tournament a few days ago, and there were some strange inclusions, as well as, exclusions in my humble opinion.
So, let’s take a look at my team of the tournament, and player of the tournament.
(I will be using the 4-3-3 formation)
Goalkeeper: Jan Sommer (Switzerland)
Most saves in the tournament, and didn’t put a foot wrong in any game. The number of highlight reel saves he pulled off were incredible. Without him, Switzerland wouldn’t have made it out of the group, let alone eliminate France and take Spain into extra time.
Right Back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain)
This was a difficult position to fill with not that many standout performances. In the end, Azpilicueta has been as good as any other player, scoring one goal and finishing the tournament with an 88% pass accuracy rate.
Centre Back: John Stones (England)
England were the best defensive team at the tournament, and for that reason it would be silly to not have one of the defenders in the team. John Stones played in every game, looked solid defensively, and even provided a threat going forward.
Centre Back: Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)
It was a toss-up between Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. The two defenders have been heroic, throwing their bodies in the way of the ball, and giving every ounce of energy their aging bodies can give. Bonucci’s ability on the ball, plus a goal in the final was enough to secure him a spot in the team of the tournament.
Left Back: Leonardo Spinazzola (Italy)
From the first game, Spinazzola was one of the best players in the tournament. He would have been an absolute guarantee for the player of the tournament had his achilles tendon not ruptured late on in the quarter-final against Belgium. The Roma player provided two assists, and plenty of energy down the left flank. Shame he will be out of action for a while.
Holding Midfielder:Jorginho (Italy)
Hugely influential in Italy’s success. Ran the most in the tournament according to the UEFA website, and provided a lot of cover and stability for his team. His passing, and general distribution was magnificent throughout the tournament. A brilliant player.
Central Midfield: Declan Rice (England)
Declan Rice, Rice, Baby… The final was a good example of how far Rice has come this season. He is very comfortable on the ball, and drives forward powerfully, which is something every team needs. Most impressive is that he gives 100%, and I can respect that. Great future ahead with England and West Ham.
Central Midfield: Pedri (Spain)
At 18 years old, Pedri is already a huge talent. He will be the next Andres Iniesta, and play a huge role in the future success Spain will undoubtedly achieve. The opposition players couldn’t get near the Barcelona midfielder. If he is even half the player Iniesta was, then what a future awaits.
Right Winger/Forward: Federico Chiesa (Italy)
An absolute pleasure to watch. Chiesa managed to create history when he scored against Austria in the round of 16 by making sure he and his father Enrico became the only father and son to score at the European Championship finals.
The younger Chiesa was magnificent. Every time he got the ball, he looked dangerous. He played direct football, and put defenders under pressure at all times, and scored two very important goals, too.
Centre Forward: Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)
Schick played out of his skin during the Euros, scoring five goals, and constantly posing a threat in every game. His performances were incredible, and played a major factor in how far the Czechs got in the end. The highlight of the tournament for the striker was his pinpoint strike from just inside Scotland’s half to lob David Marshall! The goal of the tournament!
Left Wing/Forward: Raheem Sterling (England)
Sterling was England’s best player and the reason why they made it so far. He came up with goals when it mattered most, especially with Harry Kane looking below par in the group stages. He also won the penalty against Denmark in the semi-finals which ended up giving England the win, albeit on the rebound. He didn’t have the best game against Italy in the final, but that doesn’t take away from the performances Sterling gave throughout.
Player of the Tournament
UEFA gave the award to Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, which is understandable, but with him not even making my team – he only just missed out to Sommer – it would be silly to hand him this award.
My player of the tournament is Jorginho. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, the Italian midfielder played every game, and his influence with or without the ball was second-to-none.
Below is the final episode of the Euro 2020 podcast that I recorded for Overtime Sports.