The ultimate European showdown finally has a winner as Italy demolish the chants of ‘It’s Coming Home’ defeating the Three Lions’ 3-2 on penalties. Roberto Mancini’s revamped Italian outfit outclassed every opposition jumping above every hurdle in their road to glory. While for the Three Lions, the wait continues but Gareth Southgate’s army also had an impressive summer. With the title secured it’s time to find out whom all makes it to the Euro 2020 Team of The Tournament.
🇮🇹 The moment Italy lifted their second EURO title! 🏆 @azzurri | #ITA | #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/MVl5tjZoyK
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) July 11, 2021
The European carnival had some talismanic players donning their national outfits. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Paul Pogba, the tournament was studded with diamonds. While some were engulfed by the crowd a few of them stood out of it. FootTheBall reviews the eleven players who march into the Euro 2020 Team of The Tournament and why they deserve a place in the prestigious list.
EURO 2020 TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT
GOALKEEPER- GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA (ITALY)
A legend at the meagre age of 22, Gianluigi Donnarumma won’t be sleeping tonight for sure. Perfectly filling in Buffon’s boots, Donnarumma’s diving stop to deny Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho earned the free agent the Player of the Tournament Award. 3 clean sheets complemented with two penalty shoot-out heroics, Donnarumma turned up a notch at the right time.
Gianluigi Donnarumma. A national hero. 🦸♂️#VivoAzzurro #EURO2020 #ITA #ITAENG pic.twitter.com/Q7qg11O99T
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) July 11, 2021
The monstrous goalkeeper engulfed the opposition attacks while making some delicious saves on either side. He was exceptional against England and Belgium when he constantly frustrated the 5-star rival roster as the shot-stopper rarely gave them a chance to score. Sweeping up for his backline, the youngster was busy saving a billion hearts and three penalties at the home of football, Wembley.
LEFT-BACK – LUKE SHAW (ENGLAND)
Well, other than Italian fans, one man who would be celebrating England’s defeat is Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese grandmaster’s love affair with his ex-player Luke Shaw continued into the Euros. A few words were thrown around but Luke Shaw like every time stunned Mourinho with his performance on the pitch.
Earning the nickname ‘Shawberto Carlos’, after a sparkling outing against Die Mannschaft, Luke Shaw inspired the whole nation with his tremendous performances. Shaw’s devastating volley in the second minute of the game almost dented the Italian dreams as Wembley couldn’t stop screaming. With 3 whopping assists, 1 scorching goal, and a billion flying but perfect tackles, Luke Shaw has surely established his name in England’s history books.
CENTRE-BACK – HARRY MAGUIRE (ENGLAND)
Another Manchester United star marches into the Team of The Tournament inventory as star centre-back Harry Maguire earns a place in the magnificent list. Another one of the ‘Villain to Hero’ category, Harry Maguire proved to the world why he’s worth all the money the Red Devils are splashing on him. After relishing a jaw-dropping campaign at Old Trafford, Maguire found himself injured before the beginning of the Euros.
But his arrival bolstered Southgate’s backline as teams found it difficult to ruin the Three Lions’ party. A constant threat at set-pieces, Maguire chipped in with a crucial goal against Ukraine that opened the floodgates for England. Although Maguire had to be satisfied with a silver medal around his neck, the 28-year-old centre-back activated his beast mode this summer.
CENTRE-BACK – GIORGIO CHIELLINI (ITALY)
If you would have told an Italian fan that they would conquer the European title with Chiellini and Bonucci leading their backline, they would have laughed at you. While something that might have seemed a meme before the Euros is now the headline for the day. Giorgio Chiellini dismantled the opposition teams this summer as he captained his national outfit to an iconic silverware lifting campaign.
💙 It's coming Rome! 💙#VivoAzzurro #EURO2020 #ITA #ITAENG pic.twitter.com/MOavUtsweQ
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) July 11, 2021
With 21 clearances and 37 ball recoveries, Italy’s experienced campaigner never let his team be drowned under immense pressure. The 36-year-old played almost every minute of Italy’s fairytale but as he looked like a tireless machine running for 90 minutes and putting an extra shift in extra time. The result of labouring on the pitch, a gold medal hanging on Chiellini’s mantle and a handful of memories to relish forever.
RIGHT BACK- LEONARDO SPINAZZOLA (ITALY)
Every football spectator must have shredded a tear after Leonardo Spinazzola picked up a tournament ending injury in the last knockings of the quarter-final game against Belgium. Probably one of the best left-backs this summer, Spinazzola’s stocks rocketed sky-high after his group stage displays.
🇮🇹 For Leonardo Spinazzola 👊#EURO2020 | #ITA pic.twitter.com/Ir1Hp4tnu6
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) July 12, 2021
Constantly galloping ahead on the left wing while also being a brick wall in defence, praises poured in for the Roma defender after he showed the world why he’s Mancini’s hidden gem. Although Spinazzola’s campaign had a horrific ending he didn’t leave the European jamboree with leaving a mark. With a 9% goal participation and a perfect assist, the 28-year-old deserves a spot at the Team of The Tournament table.
LEFT-ATTACKING MIDFIELDER – MIKEL DAMSGAARD (DENMARK)
The breakout star of the campaign, Mikel Damsgaard and Denmark’s story of revival is exemplary. After Christian Eriksen’s collapse in the first game, the world considered Denmark to bow out of the tournament without giving a fight. But the engineer of the Danish revamp, a young Mikel Damsgaard ran the show guiding the Danes to the knockouts.
Mikkel Damsgaard scored the FIRST free kick goal of Euro 2020 and the FIRST goal against England in the tournament 🎯
What a start 🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/KMqpM5Xrvv
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 7, 2021
A free-kick against the Three Lions that he would surely get framed, Damsgaard almost ignited the 1992 hopes as he stunned a flock of fans at Wembley with his heroics. Unfortunately for the Danish side, some questionable decisions ended their tale but the world will remember Damsgaard for his Euro 2020 heroics.
DEFENSIVE-MIDFIELDER- DECLAN RICE (ENGLAND)
Probably a name West Ham spectators won’t ever forget even after Declan Rice changes colours. A 22-year-old sensation, Rice’s impact for the Three Lions earned them a ticket to the final at Wembley. Jordan Henderson’s absence and Eric Dier’s string of disheartening performances had put immense pressure on Rice’s young shoulders. And oh boy hasn’t Rice responded to the expectations thrown at him. The Hammer had a 90% passing accuracy as he rarely misplaced a ball while also giving the Three Lions the license to attack.
Job done in Rome. Into the Semis. Let’s go🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/vMKWT543tQ
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) July 3, 2021
Rice’s presence in England’s midfield gave Shaw and Walker the freedom to canter forward without worrying about counter-attacks from the rivals. While Rice commanded the middle of the pitch as he steamed up the pitch opening up a few gaps for Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling to exploit. 28 ball recoveries and just 6 reckless challenges explain why Rice was Gareth Southgate’s unsung hero this summer and why he earns a spot in the Team of the Tournament.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER – PAUL POGBA (FRANCE)
France’s heartbreak against Switzerland raised a few questions on the World Champions’ shambolic outings. But one player who earned immense praise even in misery was Manchester United’s record-signing Paul Pogba. Although the French train couldn’t clear the Round-of-16 hurdle, Paul Pogba impressed the world with an electrifying group-stage display. Placed in the Group-of-Death, Didier Deschamps’ men needed to be on their toes throughout the group stage.
GOAL! France 3-1 Switzerland (Pogba 75').#EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/xOn0dkGINh
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) June 28, 2021
While they topped the group, Paul Pogba weaved his magic against Germany in the opening game earning the Blues a perfect victory. In the next two stalemates, Pogba was once again at the heart of France’s attacking display as the world stood up to honour the Frenchman. Paul Pogba almost secured his nation a quarter-final berth with a glittering finish to beat Sommer’s leaping hands but Switzerland’s late efforts and penalty heroics sent Paul Pogba and France back home. Nevertheless, his heroics in his small European tenure earned him a Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament spot.
RIGHT ATTACKING MIDFIELDER – FEDERICO CHIESA (ITALY)
The dominant force behind Azzurri’s ultimate triumph, Federico Chiesa ensured that a billion Italian fans had a peaceful night after shining in the ultimate showdown. Roberto Mancini’s trump-card, Chiesa enjoyed an exclusive season at Juventus where he was arguably competing with Cristiano Ronaldo as the Old Ladies’ star player. Enter the Euros, Chiesa found himself sitting on the bench but a few injuries and Chiesa’s jaw-dropping impact as a substitute forced Mancini to include the youngster in the starting eleven.
Absolute baller. https://t.co/VZxK3fBrAZ pic.twitter.com/hlBQ9J3vXA
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) July 11, 2021
The extra time goal against a defensively-disciplined Austrian side will resonate in Chiesa’s mind for decades. The thorn in the side of England, the Juventus youngster ensured Italy were prepared with a perfect response after the Three Lions had struck early. The injury ended Chiesa’s night a bit early but the fact that the English players had a breather after Chiesa’s departure explains his impact in the final of the Euros.
FORWARD – PATRIK SCHICK (CZECH REPUBLIC)
One of the biggest revelations of the European summer, Czech Republic’s towering forward Patrik Schick marches into the Euro 2020 team of the tournament. With 5 goals in Czech Republic’s fairytale run in the Euros, Schick earned a place along with Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer’s catalogue. The tall lanky striker thundered a goal a few metres away from half line stunning the world.
𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗔 𝗚𝗢𝗔𝗟!
🇨🇿 Patrik Schick with an effort that will go down in EURO history 🔥#EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/BqINLIPSMH
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) June 14, 2021
The Bayern Leverkusen performer ran the striking show guiding the Czech Republic past a few formidable names in Europe. Although Czech’s chronicle was hindered by Denmark’s resilience in the quarter-finals, Patrik Schick earned a standing ovation from the entire world because of his magnificent attacking display this summer.
FORWARD- RAHEEM STERLING (ENGLAND)
The fulcrum of England’s gallop to the final, Raheem Sterling turned into a goal-scoring machine when it mattered the most. The Manchester City forward was thrashed with utmost criticism from his home fans after having a devastating 2021. From City’s poacher to City’s benchwarmer, Sterling entered the European competition with heavy expectations.
Final push @England 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/ahIlQoSoQD
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) July 10, 2021
But the Englishman didn’t disappoint at all. Scoring the winner in the opening game against Croatia and bashing the German army out of the tournament made Sterling a fan-favourite. In the semi-final brawl against a tough Danish outfit, Sterling studded his magic in extra time to earn the Three Lions a match-winning spot-kick. Although England’s fairytale couldn’t get past the Italian hurdle, Sterling’s monumental display will be synonymous with Euro 2020.
Spinazzola, Maguire, Chiellini, Shaw;
Chiesa, Pogba, Daamsgaard;