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Euro 2020 Football Sport

Who really caught the eye at Euro 2020

euro 2020 semi final italy v spain
Italy's Jorginho celebrates after he scores the winning penalty during the shoot-out

The European Championship draws to a close on Sunday when England take on Italy at Wembley.

Delayed by a year, Euro 2020 has been worth the wait with a plethora of goals and memorable results achieved all across the continent.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the team of the tournament.

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)

The 22-year-old failed to concede a goal in the group stage and has since made key contributions in the knockout rounds. Excellent in the win over Belgium, Donnarumma stepped up to the plate once more in the penalty shoot-out success against Spain. All of this has occurred on the back of criticism over his move to Paris St Germain but he has put it to one side to deliver his best for Italy.

Vladimir Coufal (Czech Republic)

The West Ham full-back impressed during the Premier League last season and took that form into this summer where his showings helped the Czechs make it through to the quarter-finals. He bookended his Euro 2020 with assists – in their opener against Scotland and a narrow last eight loss to Denmark – to cement his status as one of the most solid defenders.

Andreas Christensen (Denmark)

The versatile Dane was crucial to Denmark’s revival after Christian Eriksen collapsed in the first game against Finland. Kasper Hjulmand trusted the defender to move into midfield when he wanted to change formation in matches and his seamless transition between the two positions was a key component of their run to the last four. Christensen’s second-half exit due to injury against England no doubt had an impact on the final result.

Harry Maguire (England)

An ankle injury threatened to rule the Manchester United centre-back out of the tournament, but he returned for the final group game against Czech Republic and has been colossal for the Three Lions. 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.

Leonardo Spinazzola (Italy)

The Roma left-back has cruelly been denied an appearance in the final after he sustained an Achilles injury in the last eight win against Belgium. It was a sad way for the 28-year-old’s tournament to end after his marauding runs down the wing were a big feature of Italy’s successful progress. The speed merchant, one of the quickest players at Euro 2020, has left a number of rivals in his shadow.

Pedri (Spain)

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 starlet.

Jorginho (Italy)

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has been one of the chief orchestrators behind Italy’s journey to the final and scored the winning penalty against Spain in typically cool fashion. He has only missed 15 minutes of the tournament so far and his ball retention and spatial awareness has allowed the Italians wing-backs to fly forward at every opportunity with the security of Jorginho covering them.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Denmark)

Hojbjerg has provided greater creativity in Eriksen’s absence and assisted three goals at the finals, only one fewer than he managed at Tottenham last term. On top of his improved offensive displays, the Spurs ace has been a rock in the middle from a defensive point of view and ensured play keeps ticking over for the Danes.

Raheem Sterling (England)

Arguably England’s player of the tournament, the boy from Brent scored their only group-stage goals and then delivered a knockout blow in the round of 16 clash with Germany. Despite failing to score in the wins over Ukraine and Demark, the Manchester City attacker has still been a big danger to remain as one of Gareth Southgate’s go-to players and most trusted lieutenants.

Harry Kane (England)

A slow start to the tournament threatened to scupper the Three Lions’ chances of glory but their main man eventually hit form. Even before his maiden Euros goal against Germany, Kane had impressed against the old enemy but his late header has opened the floodgates. The Spurs forward has saved his best for the knockout stage and caught the eye in victories over Ukraine and Denmark.

Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)

The striker left his mark on the tournament in his opening game with a sensational lobbed effort against Scotland. It was part of a brace at Hampden Park – which proved a good ground for the Bayer Leverkusen ace 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 leave him joint-top goalscorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who can count himself unlucky to miss out on this final XI.

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