Euro 2016: Team Of The Tournament So Far
As we near the end of Euro 2016, which players have performed and which haven’t. With this in mind I have decided to put together a team of the tournament so far. To make things simple I have gone with a very basic 4-4-2.
Goalkeeper: Hannes Halldorsson
The Icelandic stopper has been immense in between the sticks. For a country with very little expectation and such a low population, it is rather astonishing to think that he managed to keep out Cristiano Ronaldo. Obviously you will concede less with a good defence, but take nothing away from the performances of the giant Icelander.
Right Back: Kyle Walker
Although England have gone home early, Walker did his reputation no bad at all. He wasn’t at his best in the defeat against Iceland, but overall he played really well throughout the tournament. He was a menace to all the sides and defended well in periods.
Centre Back: Jerome Boateng
It has been a tournament of defending as a unit and playing as a team. With this in mind, Boateng has arguably been the best at marshalling his defence, barking out orders and getting them organised. He also made an incredible clearance against the Ukraine keeping the score at 1-0 to Germany.
Centre Back: Leonardo Bonnuci
What a tournament. Bonnuci has been brilliant for Italy. He has martialled the defence brilliantly alongside Gigi Buffon. But it is not only in defence where he has contributed. The defender took his first ever penalty against Germany in the quarter finals, and scored. Talk about pressure!
Left Back: Robbie Brady
Possibly a controversial decision, but he was fantastic. The goal against Italy will go down in Irish folklore, not to mention the control and composure he showed to bury a penalty against France. He has had to shackle some of his attacking instincts during the tournament, but has still contributed fantastically throughout!
Right Wing: Gareth Bale
Bale has been fantastic throughout. Simple the Welshman scored in all three group games, before delivering the killer ball that knocked out Norther Ireland. He was also instrumental in Belgium, being involved in the build up to all three goals. But He has put a shift in, in every single game, helping out defensively as well as offensively.
Centre Midfield: Aaron Ramsey
The Arsenal midfielder has been every bit as good as fellow countryman Bale. In certain games he has had to give up his natural attacking instinct in order to help the team defend. However, he has still managed to grab three assists and one goal. His slick passing has been essential in Wales progressing.
Centre Midfield: Antoinne Greizmann
Tournament top goal scorer. Griezmann is almost a forward, to be fair. But it was important to squeeze him into the team. With four goals and an assist to his name, it is fair to say he is having a great tournament. He is great at linking up the play, finding space just behind the striker and helping to get the midfield involved.
Left Wing: Dimitri Payet
It is hard to believe that this is the Frenchman’s first international tournament. He has taken things completely by storm. He saved France with a 25-yard screamer in the opening match. He has since gone on to notch another two in, both with equal quality. He has also proved his worth as a team player chipping in with two assists.
Forward: Olivier Giroud
The third Frenchman to make the list. Giroud has been equally as good as his countryman and now has two goals and an assist to his name. Often the scapegoat for both club and country, but so far he has been very impressive. There is no doubt that they have their biggest test against Germany, but if he continues his streak, then the hosts should reach the final.
Sorry Cristiano. The former Manchester United winger has outshone his Portuguese team mate. The new Valencia forward has notched three goals and two assists so far. But he has led the line very well for the team, helping to create space for players like Ronaldo and Renato Sanches.
Mentions have to go out to Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Hal-Robson. They have all been sensational. It is a shame to see Zlatan go, he won’t even get to edge himself into Olympic history.
With three games left to play, there is still plenty of opportunity for a player to edge himself into Euro folklore.