The Euro 2016 has finally reached the Rounds of 16. The countries that qualify for the last 16 include Switzerland, Poland, Croatia, Portugal, Germany, Slovakia, France, Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, England, Iceland, Italy and Spain. While there are many players who failed to shine in the Euro 2016, there some players that did very well to delivered great performance in the match.
GK Michael McGovern (Northern Ireland)
There are many goalkeepers that have rarely been tested throughout this tournament. However, some superstar goalkeepers such as David De Gea and Joe Hart had made some mistakes in their games. McGovern on the other hand was forced to save lots of shots in order to help Northern Ireland to proceed into the knockout stage. One of the most memorable performance by McGovern would the 1-0 defeat to Germany.
RB Kyle Walker (England)
Throughout the three games that England played, Walker is given the opportunity to storm forward into the attacking area. He is also able to move into the opponent area and provide a steady stream of crosses. Walker’s performance in the tournament has also raise praises from some other players. While many teams do struggle for full-backs, Walker has displayed his fabulous attacking presence to be crucial to England’s impressive performance.
Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)
Bonucci’s great defending skill has made him the most important player for Italy’s coach Antonio Conte throughout this tournament. With the absence of top players such as Marco Verratti and Andrea Pirlo, Italy has to rely on Bonucci to be their best playmaker from the deep. One of his best performance includes delivering a wonderful pass to Emanuele Giaccherini to open the scoring in the 2-0 win against Belgium. Besides that, Bonucci also did very well in defending for Italy in their three-man defense formation.
CB Jerome Boateng (Germany)
Boateng is the only centre-back that is able to compete with rivals Bonucci in terms of long-range passing. Solid defense from Boateng while playing high up the pitch, he knows he is capable of outrun any strikers looking to sprint beyond him. Together with Mats Hummels, he is able to contribute to great possession by Germany to dominate the matches. Besides that, he is also able to hit some great passes into the attackers.
LB Jordi Alba (Spain)
Four years ago, Alba announced himself as the best left-back in Europe with a tremendous tournament performance. In this year EURO 2016, he has continued his excellence form. He has been a quick attacking full-back helping Spain to provide the most penetration. After the opening win of 1-0 against Czech Republic, he learned when to time his overlapping runs. His excellence performance has created two great chances for Alvaro Morata in the 3-0 win against Turkey.
CM Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)
Xhaka has brought excitement into the Euro 2016 with excellence long-range passing ability while consistently providing diagonal balls to encourage his full-backs into the attack. Being a fierce tackler, the new Arsenal midfielder is able to use his midfield player’s mobility to find pockets of space to create.
CM Toni Kroos (Germany)
Kroos has been showing great performance throughout the Euro 2016 tournament. The other teams were sitting back in the defensive shapes rather than pressing high up the field, the playmaker from Real Madrid has the freedom to sit deep and collect the ball in space while creating great passes for the attackers. While playing against Ukraine, he has total control in the midfield zone. In the game against Poland, he simply wasn’t tracked and the match against Northern Ireland he manages to impress the crowd with his amazing diagonal balls. No one in the tournament has played more passes than him.
CM Andres Iniesta (Spain)
He has been called the best tournament player of his generation. Iniesta has been showing amazing performance through his third consecutive European Championships. He has been a vital attacking force for Spain in the front three. With the retirement of Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso, Iniesta has been able to slot into his favorite central role to assist Spain in their passing move. His remarkable performance against Turkey was seen to link passes from box-to-box before playing the penetrative ball.
FW Gareth Bale (Wales)
Throughout this tournament, Bale has not been contributing much from his open play. However, he netted the opener in Wales’ first two games through his perfect long-range free kicks. The first was seen deceiving Slovakia’s Matus Kozacik with some reverse swerve while the second had successfully eluded England’s Hart. Besides that, Bale had also managed a third goal against Russia. He has been a great player providing moments of magic while Wales require.
FW Dimitri Payet (France)
Payet is hailed as the hero for the host in this year Euro 2016. He netted an incredible 25-yard winner into the top corner in the match against Romania after assisting the opener for Olivier Giroud in the eventual 2-1 win. His great performance helps him scored another great goal against Albania and came close to a memorable volleyed winner against Switzerland. He was great in probing and creating from between the lines while performing the odd trick to wow the crowd. Payet has been the advanced playmaker that France really needs right now.
FW Alvaro Morata (Spain)
Having missed the chances in Spain opening game against Czech Republic in a narrow 1-0 win, Morata’s performance has since improved in the following games. In the next two games, the goals arrived. He scored two against Turkey and another against Croatia. He has been successful in converting crosses or square balls. Besides that, he has also been encouraging his teammates to attack the channels and this has add another dimension to Spain’s play.
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