Italy were crowned European Champions for the second time after they beat England on penalties in a thrilling final. It was a thrilling end to what was an entertaining tournament that saw 142 goals scored in 51 matches.
There were some outstanding individual performances throughout the tournament which is why we’ve put together the Best XI for Euro 2020.
It’s hard to believe that Donnarumma is still a free agent and even harder to believe that the Italian shot-stopper is still only 22 years old. He had a great tournament, conceding just four goals in the seven matches that he played. The 22-year-old failed to concede a goal in the group stages. His performances in the KO stages of the tournament are why he was named Player of the Tournament after fantastic performances against Belgium, Spain and England in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final respectively.
The Netherlands might have crashed out in the second round, but Dumfries caught the eyes of the world with his stellar displays at wing-back, amassing two goals and two clean sheets in four games.
Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini proved once again why they are one of the best centre-back pairings in the game with many people doubting whether they could still play together at the highest level. Bonucci led the Azzurri’s backline superbly after Chiellini’s injury in their first match of the tournament. He also made telling contributions in the KO stages with his distribution from the back, scoring in both penalty shootouts and an important equalizer in the final.
An ankle injury threatened to rule the Manchester United centre-back out of the tournament, but he returned for the final group game against the Czech Republic and was a colossal for the Three Lions ever since. Maguire slotted in with ease after a six-week absence and produced excellent performances in the hard-fought wins over Germany and Denmark. A goal against Ukraine also made it back-to-back goals in the quarter-finals of major tournaments.
This was probably the most difficult position to choose from with both Luke Shaw and Denmark’s Joakim Maehle having an outstanding tournament. Spinazzola’s importance for Italy is what sets him apart from the others. The Roma left-back was cruelly denied an appearance in the final after he sustained an Achilles injury in the quarter-final win against Belgium. It was a sad way for the 28-year-old’s tournament to end as his marauding runs down the wing were a big feature of Italy’s success.
The Chelsea midfielder had a wonderful tournament and was one of the chief orchestrators behind Italy’s journey to Euro 2020 glory. This was clear to see when Spain managed to keep him quiet in the semi-finals which was probably Italy’s worst performance of the tournament. Despite that, he still stepped up to take the winning penalty in the penalty shootout to send Italy to the final.
Paul Pogba once again showed his quality for France in this tournament. Watching him play for his country was like watching a different player as he was playing with confidence and looked like someone who was enjoying his football. His range of passing was what stood out the most as he put in outstanding performances against Germany and France in the group stages, not to mention his outstanding goal in the Round of 16 against Switzerland.
The teenager was a huge positive to come from a highly disrupted campaign for Spain, who made it through to the semi-final despite Covid-19 cases in the camp at the start of the tournament. Pedri was at the heart of everything good from Luis Enrique’s side, who went goal crazy in the knockout stage. Likened to Andres Iniesta, the future looks bright for the Barcelona youngster.
Chiesa came into Euro 2020 at the back of an outstanding season with Juventus, for him personally. It came as a big surprise for me when Roberto Mancini opted for Domenico Berardi on the right side of the front three for the first few games. After his crucial goal in the Round of 16, the Juventus man was one of Italy’s most important players in Euro 2020 scoring two important goals in the KO stages. His direct play and ability to score crucial goals were invaluable for Italy especially considering how poor Ciro Immobile was for Italy in the KO stages.
Arguably England’s player of the tournament, the Man City forward scored their only group-stage goals (2) and then delivered a knockout blow in the round of 16 clash with Germany. Despite failing to score in the wins over Ukraine and Denmark, he had a key role to play in winning the contentious penalty which helped England beat Denmark and reach the final, Sterling was a big threat to the opposition and was one of Gareth Southgate’s go-to players in the tournament.
Schick left his mark on the tournament in his opening game with a sensational lobbed effort from halfway against Scotland. It was part of a brace at Hampden Park, which proved to be a good ground for the Bayer Leverkusen player as he also struck there in a 1-1 draw with Croatia. The Czechs only scored six goals at Euro 2020 but still made the quarter-finals thanks to Schick’s five strikes, which left him joint-top goalscorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who can count himself unlucky to miss out on this final XI.