Not everyone can be a winner, in fact many players will have an outstanding Euros only to never actually receive any sort of award, and hence a team of the tournament is made to give plaudits to the individuals who were better than their peers at Euro 2016
There were a few keepers who had good tournament, however they tended to make a mistake which ultimately cost their team a place in the next round, the one keeper which I felt was fairly good throughout and exceptional in the knockout stages was Rui Patricio. Patricio was excellent in the final, a couple of big saves but more importantly he was a commanding presence in his area, he played a big part.
I struggled to pick a right back because I couldn’t think of many who had been truly outstanding; I decided to go for Srna who despite only playing four games was fantastic for Croatia. When you consider the circumstances which Srna played through, he had a great tournament in a Croatia team which really should have done better.
It was also a struggle to pick the left back of the tournament as I didn’t feel there was a truly standout performer. Raphael Guerreiro looks like a really good player and I felt he had a good tournament. Guerreiro is excellent at getting up and down the wing and is a constant pain for opposition defences. If I were to make a criticism it would be that he needs to improve his final ball, if he can do that he should develop into one of the best left backs in the world.
Outstanding tournament for Pepe who really stepped up and was a rock at the back for Portugal throughout. I’m not his biggest fan; however Pepe very much impressed me in the Euros. It isn’t a shock that he is in the team; after all he was Portugal’s best player. It should also be noted that Pepe played next to three different centre back partners (Carvalho, Fonte and Alves) and had a young midfield in front of him, his experience was vital to Portugal winning the Euros.
The other centre back position is much harder to select because there was a number of high quality centre back performances throughout the tournament. Guys like Hummels, Boateng, Fonte, Chiellini, Barzagli and Williams all deserve a mention, however I have went for Bonucci because he was the embodiment of the excellent Italian defence.
Another position I didn’t feel was an obvious choice and I do feel odd picking Nani, however when I thought about it he was the most obvious choice. Nani is incredibly frustrating to watch, there is no doubt he has talent but he is totally inconsistent. To be fair to Nani he contributed 3 goals for Portugal in the Euros and he was being played out of position. In the final he ran all match and played an unforgiving and often underestimated contribution style, he led the line well and was a big part of Portugal’s winning side.
Payet was phenomenal in the group stage, easily the best player up to that point. Sadly for Payet and the French he very much cooled off as the tournament progressed. The reason Payet is in the team is that if it wasn’t for him France would not have won their group and received their easy run to the semis.
If you want to know how important Ramsey was to Wales all you need to do is look at how poorly they performed against Portugal when Ramsey was suspended. Everyone like to jump on the Bale bandwagon, however Ramsey was the heart and soul of the Welsh side, he was tireless in every game, running about like a mad man and contributing with 4 assists and 1 goal. It’s a shame for him and Wales that he missed the semi after receiving just 2 bookings in the tournament, it was very cruel.
Toni Kroos completed 209 passes more than anyone else…209! Kroos embodied the German style of play, strong in midfield with great possession. Germany were the tournaments best team and Kroos was a big part of that. Ultimately Germany went out because they didn’t have a striker; Kroos was the best player in the team.
The best player of the tournament couldn’t quite take his team to the title and that man is Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann was the difference for France in the games against Albania, Ireland and Germany; he was imperious in the knockout rounds scoring 5 goals (6 goals in total). Griezmann like many of the French players didn’t show up in the final, which is a shame because his tournament as a whole was excellent and it put a damper on his stellar performance overall. The golden boot winner and the best player at the tournament, although his nation didn’t win he can still be proud of his contribution
I think that a lot of people will see Ronaldo on the team and assume he is there based solely on the fact that he is Ronaldo, however if any other player had put in the performances that Ronaldo had then they would easily have made this team. It should also be remembered that Euro 2016 was a very poor tournament for strikers; Giroud would have been my second pick. Ronaldo came second in the silver boot, dragged his team through the group stages with an impressive performance against Hungary, he made the difference against Croatia, he was the difference against Wales and although he barely played the final, the is no doubting the inspiration which he gave to the team from the side-line, he was the heart and soul of this team.
There you have the team of Euro 2016, the best of the best. We had 5 Portuguese, 2 French, 1 Croatian, 1 Italian, 1 Welsh and 1 German in the team. I felt it was difficult to pick the team to be honest, I didn’t feel like there were that many stand out players in this tournament, and those which were standout tended to be centre backs.
So what did you think of the Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament? Are you wondering where all the English players are? Do you wish it had been a team full of centre backs? Or are you upset that sexy Giroud wasn’t quite able to make the first eleven? Well leave a comment and share those thoughts.