Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament: Italy dominate as Ronaldo & Pogba miss out

 

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It’s been an absolutely sensational summer of football, culminating in Italy’s dramatic defeat of England, but who were the best players on show?

#1 GK: Gigi Donnarumma (Italy)

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The 22-year-old was utterly immense as Italy won Euro 2020 in dramatic fashion, with their giant of a goalkeeper saving two penalties in the final, including the decisive spot-kick from Bukayo Saka. 
UEFA’s Player of the Tournament and our obvious choice for the No.1 jersey.


#2 RB: Joakim Maehle (Denmark)

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Atalanta have done it again: the masters of the transfer market have unearthed another gem.

Just over six months after signing Joakim Maehle from Genk for just €10 million (£8.5m/$11.9m), the versatile wing-back is now arguably worth three times that amount thanks to his sensational displays for surprise semi-finalists Denmark.

#3 CB: Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)

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Bonucci has sometimes been accused of playing as more of a midfielder than a defender. At Euro 2020, he proved himself one of the most complete centre-backs of the modern era.

#4 CB: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)

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How on earth could we pick anyone other than Giorgio Chiellini to play alongside Bonucci in the heart of our defence?
There was no worthier recipient of the Henri Delaunay trophy than the Azzurri’s inspirational captain, whose status as one of the game’s all-time greats is now complete.

#5 LB: Leonardo Spinazzola (Italy)

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Losing Leonardo Spinazzola was a major setback for Italy, but it represented an even bigger blow for a player that has been plagued by injuries throughout his career.

#6 CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Denmark)

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As well as racking up three assists, Hojbjerg created 11 chances in total, completed 10 dribbles and won the ball back 51 times – more than any other player in the tournament.

Simply sensational!

#7 CM: Jorginho (Italy)

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Europe belongs to Jorginho!

Just over six weeks after lifting the Champions League with Chelsea, the Brazil-born midfielder tasted Euro 2020 glory with Italy, making this a summer of a vindication for the unfairly maligned 29-year-old.

The stats speak for themselves: He ranked second for both successful passes (485) and possession won (48), while he set a new European Championship record for interceptions, with 25. No other player made more than 14… 

#8 CM: Pedri (Spain)

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How good was Pedri at Euro 2020? Well, it is fair to say that those comparisons to Andres Iniesta no longer look quite so premature.

Coach Luis Enrique enthused after Pedri’s ridiculously composed display against Italy in the semi-finals, “I’ve never seen anything like that [from an 18-year-old]. Not even from Iniesta. It’s impossible to explain.”

And it was. Pedri is truly something else.

#9 RW: Federico Chiesa (Italy)

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Federico Chiesa may have had to bide his time, because of Roberto Mancini’s initial preference for Domenico Berardi on the right-hand side of the Italy attack, but the Juventus winger eventually emerged as one of the stars of Euro 2020. 

#10 CF: Harry Kane (England)

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It is remarkable to think now that English pundits and fans were very concerned by Harry Kane’s form at the end of the group stage. 

It was not just the fact that the prolific Tottenham forward was still awaiting his first goal of the tournament; there was an unusual sluggishness about his all-round game. 

However, as soon as the 27-year-old headed home Jack Grealish’s cross in the closing stages of the last-16 win over Germany, the real Kane returned. 

He netted twice against Ukraine in the quarters, and while he missed his extra-time penalty against Denmark, the striker was on hand to force home the rebound to rack up his fourth goal of the knockout stage and send England into a first major final since 1966. 

The shame was that he was starved of quality service in the area against Italy, but his hold-up play was extraordinary. As the old saying goes, form is temporary; class is permanent. 

#11 LW: Raheem Sterling (England)

The player of the tournament up until the final? England certainly would not have made it that far without Raheem Sterling.

The Manchester City winger, who grew up just a stone’s throw from Wembley, certainly looked right at home in London, effectively carrying the Three Lions attack during the group stage, with match-winning goals against both Croatia and Czech Republic.

Sterling provided the spark again in the hugely significant win over Germany in the last 16, while his forays into the area were effectively responsible for both goals in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of Denmark.

The 26-year-old had his critics before the Euros began. He silenced them with a string of world-class performances.

Source/Credit: Goal

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