They came, they saw, they conquered, not only France but the hearts of the footballing world that cheered them on. Sporta reveals its selection for the best 11 players that took to the arena in a 4-4-2 diamond formation after Portugal emerged victors.
Goal Keeper: Rui Patricio(Portugal)
Guarding the Portuguese dynasty in between the sticks, The Sporting Lisbon man was superb for his country and was very decisive in the final where Portugal were perceived the underdogs, he kept his sides with a string of excellent saves that saw them emerge victorious. With a total of 9 saves in the final, Patricio managed the most number of saves in a single game in the whole competition to edge out Germany’s Manuel Neuer, Spain’s David De Gea and France’s Hugo Lloris on our team.
Left Back: Joshua Kimmich(Germany)
Competing in the tournament for the first time in his career at just 21, he alongside Portugal’s Renato Sanches emerged the break out stars showing a promising future in footballing heaven. A central defensive midfielder by default, the young lad was deployed on the left wing previously covered by veteran Philip Lahm and he didn’t disappoint, often making impressive runs and linking up with his teammates well.
Centre Back: Pepe(Portugal)
Even though the Portugal side didn’t play entertaining beautiful football, there antics worked, and the man at the heart of their team, renowned for winning ugly was Pepe, the silent hero, marshaling one of the best defenses at Euro 2016 to glory in an unbeaten campaign.
Centre Back: Leonardo Bonucci(Spain)
Two man of the match displays from the Juventus man helped Antonio Conte’s Italy upset low expectations ahead of the Euros as they beat Belgium and Spain to reach the last-eight. A penalty goal was enough to take his side to the penalty shootout which they lost to Germany but one thing for sure is that he was the Azzurri’s best player of the tournament.
Right Back: Patrice Evra(France)
The former Manchester United veteran led France’s golden generation to the final superbly from the wing, linking up well with Dimitri Payet in attack to upset opposition teams. Slightly edging past Portugal’s Raphael Guerreiro to the team.
Central Defensive Midfielder: Toni Kroos(Germany)
The Real Madrid midfielder continued his stellar 2016 months after winning the Champions League by pulling the strings in midfield for the world champions as they maneuvered their way into the semi-finals. Two man of the match performances was enough for the man in Germany’s heart of midfield to be included on the list ahead of France’s N’golo Kante and Paul Pogba.
Left Winger: Dimitri Payet(France)
Two last minute goals from the West Ham danger man was enough to ensure the hosts finish at the top of their group and progress further in the competition. The winger might be remembered for Injuring Cristiano Ronaldo but won many hearts with his flair and work ethic on pitch, a true fan favorite.
Right Winger: Gareth Bale(Wales)
Two free kick goals in two matches and another to complete a stellar performance in the group stages, Bale was the face of a Welsh side dreaming of the impossible, it is hard to fathom Wales semifinal qualification without their star man and it’s not hard to see why. With a combination of power, pace and tactical awareness Bale boosted the Welsh hopes of a dream semifinal qualification that was shuttered by Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Aaron Ramsey(Wales)
Usually a frustrating player at Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey stepped up immensely for Wales and was their star alongside Gareth Bale. With four assists in the tournament, he was a pivotal player who was dearly missed in the semifinal encounter with Portugal, maybe things would turn out differently were he on the pitch.
Left Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo(Portugal)
By now it is hard to imagine a team of the tournament without the prolific Portuguese. Though starting the tournament on a low, he was very influential in his sides progression being involved in 6 of their 10 goals scored in the competition. Ronaldo showed pure passion and how much the title meant to him urging his teammates on from the sidelines after he was stretched off with an injury early in the final against France.
Right Forward: Antoinne Griezmann(France)
Though a loser in the final, Griezmann was by far the best player of the competition scoring 6 goals in as many games on the road to the final. A golden boot winner and a Ballon d’or contention performance, it is no surprise to see him crown this list.
Notable absentees include Portugal’s Renato Sanches, France’s Paul Pogba, Hugo Lloris, Spain’s Alvaro Morata, Germany’s Jerome Boateng and Italy’s Eder.