UEFA Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament

Euro 2016 wasn’t exactly the most entertaining international competition we’ve ever seen, but there were still some superb players on show, performing to the very highest level and giving everything they could to win matches their nation. This is my UEFA Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament based on how well they did, how important they were to their team and how well their team did. It features 3 Portuguese winners, 2 powerhouse Germans, 2 Frenchmen, 2 Welsh stars and the tournament’s two best players, both coming from France.

Goalkeeper: Rui Patricio

Rui Patricio was one of the main reasons why Portugal won Euro 2016. The Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper was absolutely excellent at the tournament, keeping 4 clean sheets to tie with Manuel Neuer for the tournament’s Golden Glove. He also made 16 saves, 20 cross claims, conceded just 5 goals the entire tournament and was clutch in penalty shootouts, winning Portugal their match against Poland with an excellent save to deny Blaszczykowski and the Poles the chance to advance into the next round. Rui Patricio was the best goalkeeper of the tournament and was the best player on the pitch in their final match against France that won his nation the tournament. Rating 9/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 2

Right Back: Joshua Kimmich 

The 21-year old had only even played right-back two times for Bayern Munich before Joachim Low decided to stick him there against Northern Ireland. The change turned out to be a fantastic move by the German coach as Kimmich played incredibly well at the tournament. He was constantly bombing forward from fulback, whipping in 5 crosses and creating 8 chances for his teammates to score over the course of his 4 game spell at right-back for Germany. He was also very solid in possession, making 61 passes per game and completing 87% of his passes, and in defense making 9 tackles with 9 duels in the air won during the tournament. Joshua Kimmich was one of the tournament’s breakout stars and could be one to seriously watch out for in the future for both club and country. Rating 8.5/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 1

Centre Back: Pepe

He may be a little bit crazy, but he was easily the best defender at Euro 2016. Pepe had an extraordinarily good campaign with Portugal to cement his place as one of the best defenders in world football at the moment and help Portugal win the tournament with 4 clean sheets in 7 matches. The 33-year old was incredibly solid for Portugal, making 37 clearances, 19 interceptions, and winning 23 duels in the air over the course of his 6 game stay. He was a real leader for Portugal at the tournament and was so key in helping his nation remain undefeated the entire tournament. Rating 9/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 2

Centre Back: Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams captained and led his team to an incredible semi-final finish at Euro 2016. Wales had an amazing tournament and Williams was at the heart of everything good for his nation. The Swansea captain featured in all six of Wales’ matches, scoring 1 goal, making 43 clearances, 17 interceptions and of course was Wales’ key defender as they kept 2 clean sheets and made it all the way to the semi-finals. Without Williams, Wales would not have been so solid at the back and may not have made it as far as they did in the competition. Rating 8.5/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 1

Left Back: Raphael Guerreiro 

Raphael Guerreiro had a breakout tournament with Portugal at Euro 2016 and could be on his way to becoming an all-time Portugal great. The left-fullback was excellent for his nation, playing as one of their absolute best players as they won the tournament. Guerreiro played in 5 matches, assisted 1 goal, made 12 tackles, made 14 interceptions and created 8 chances to help lead Portugal to glory. At times, he was Portugal’s main creator of opportunities going forward and when he wasn’t getting forward to try and help his team score a goal, he was defending like his life-depended it down on that left-hand side. It was an excellent tournament from the left-back and being at the age of 22 there are still so many more things to come from this young defender. Rating 9/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 2

Centre Midfield: Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey was one of the very best players at Euro 2016 as he helped lead the charge to a semi-final finish for Wales. Ramsey featured in 5 of 6 of Wales’ matches, scored 1 goal and assisted 4 goals to lead the tournament in assists. He created 3 chances per game, had 2.4 shots per game and helped out in defense with 2.4 tackles per game as well. In his 2 team of the week appearances, Aaron Ramsey was also named the Player of the Week both times, showing just how good he was during the tournament. Wales really missed him in their semi-final match against Portugal but they will go home looking forward to what the future has in store with players like Ramsey and Bale on their side. Rating 9.5/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 2

Centre Midfield: Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos showed exactly why he is considered to be the best central midfielder on the planet with another fantastic performance at Euro 2016. The German midfielder had an excellent World Cup 2014 campaign, was amazing in Real Madrid’s 2015-16 season and then rocked Euro 2016 again with Germany, featuring in 6 matches, assisting 1 goal, and completely dominating the midfield in every single game he played in, allowing himself to pick up two man of the match awards along the way. The 26-year old midfielder also created 16 chances, completed 92.4% of his passes and averaged a tournament-leading 107 passes per game. Toni Kroos was brilliant at Euro 2016 and was without a doubt Germany’s best player and leading presence as they made it to the semi finals. Rating 9/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 3

Attacking Midfield: Antoine Griezmann 

Antoine Griezmann was the best player at Euro 2016. He led France all the way to the finals and single-handedly won the nation several of their games. Griezmann scored 6 goals in 7 matches, 3 more than any other player at the tournament to win the golden boot by a mile and lead France to the final. The Atletico Madrid goal-scorer also assisted 2 goals, created 13 chances, had 21 shots on target, helped out in defense with 11 tackles and won 2 man of the match awards on his way to becoming the tournament’s star player. Antoine Griezmann was better than anyone else at Euro 2016 and should now be considered one of the top ten players in all of world football. Rating 10/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 3

Attacking Midfield: Dimitri Payet

Dimitri Payet was France’s other standout star of Euro 2016 but was just slightly less consistent than the Altetico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann. Still though, Dimitri Payet was not only France’s second best player but was also the second best player at the tournament and absolutely shined on home soil. Payet scored 3 goals and assisted 2 more in 7 matches to help lead France to the final. The West Ham United midfielder also had 20 shots, created more chances than any other player at the tournament with 24 and completed 18 dribbles to help France dominate every single game they played in. Dimitri Payet was absolutely excellent at Euro 2016 and is now going to be considered by all as one of the best players in the world. Rating 10/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 3

Right Striker: Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale was probably the best player in the Group Stage of the competition, leading Wales to the top of Group B by scoring 3 goals with 3 matches. Although he didn’t score again the rest of the tournament, the Real Madrid forward was still Wales’ best player in the knockout stages and continued to lead them to great things as they made it all the way to the semi-finals. Bale had an excellent tournament and Wales would have been nowhere near that semi-final match without him. Rating 9.5/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 3

Left Striker: Nani 

Although not the biggest name in Portugal, Nani was probably Portugal’s best player at Euro 2016 and was their only consistent performer that played to his full-potential in all 7 matches. Nani played incredibly well in every single match, scoring or assisting in 4 out of 7 matches and finishing the tournament with 3 goals and 1 assist, the joint-second highest scorer of the tournament. He also created 9 chances and had 23 shots over the course of the tournament. Nani’s link up play to Cristiano Ronaldo and his overall work ethic were very solid in the tournament and even when Ronaldo was struggling, the Portuguese forward was still lively and firing on all cylinders. Rating 8.5/10.
Team of the Week Appearances: 3

Formation: 4-2-2-2

Substitutes: Hugo Lloris, Leonardo Bonucci, Neil Taylor, Joe Allen, Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo

Player of the Tournament: Antoine Griezmann 

There was no one better at Euro 2016. Not only did Antoine Griezmann lead France to the final with 6 goals and 2 assists but he was fantastic in all areas of the pitch, helping out in defense with 1.6 tackles per game, creating 13 chances and taking 21 shots that ended up on target. It was an incredible tournament by the Atletico Madrid forward and he will now be considered one of the very, very best players in the world.

Manager of the Tournament: Chris Coleman 

Chris Coleman managed to take a team of below-average international players and turn them into world beaters as they made it all the way to the semi-finals. Despite only having 2 stars and really only 4 household name players, Coleman managed to lead his team to victories against Belgium, Slovakia, Russia and Northern Ireland as they were probably the best functioning team of the entire tournament. His 3-5-2 formation worked to perfection and he always played to his best players’ strengths, building his team around Allen, Ramsey and Bale and always making sure everything was coming through them. He rallied his team to play like a bunch of world class players fighting for the title of Euro 2016 when they should have never had any chance of winning the tournament. Wales nearly won Euro 2016 and their success has to be in large-part credited to their manager. Rating 9.5/10.

Honourable Mention: Fernando Santos

It was so hard to choose between these two, but I ultimately decided to go with Chris Coleman over Portugal’s manager Fernando Santos, because it is likely that only three Welsh players would have even made it into Portugal’s squad, making it all the more impressive what Chris Coleman managed to accomplish with such an undervalued squad of players. But Fernando Santos was excellent in the tournament and was tactically fantastic as he led Portugal to glory. He made big changes to his squad whenever it was needed, dropping big players like Joao Moutinho and Ricardo Carvalho when they weren’t playing well for players that flourished in the side like Jose Fonte and Renato Sanches. After his team didn’t play particularly well in the group stage, Fernando Santos changed his squad around and led his team to 4 knockout stage victories, 3 clean sheets and the Euro 2016 title. His team were defensively resilient and brilliant and he made key substitutions at key moments like bringing on Eder in the final to score the winning goal. Fernando Santos had a very good tournament and may have just become one of the best managers in world football. Rating 9.5/10.

Best Game: Wales 3-1 Belgium 

This match had everything. World-class players, fun, big moments, big decisions and stunning goals. Most importantly though, this quarter final match-up featured two teams that were absolutely fighting for their lives in the tournament, a masterclass performance from Wales and a huge upset that resulted in Wales making it to their first ever semi-final at an international tournament.

Best Moment: Still Dimitri Payet‘s late winning-goal against Romania to give his team an opening day 2-1 victory against Romania. It was an incredible moment that brought the midfielder to tears and set the tone for greater things to come from France at Euro 2016.

So there it is! The Mastermind‘s coverage of Euro 2016 officially comes to an end with the final Team of the Week and the Team of the Tournament. It’s been fun and I seriously look forward to seeing you next season for The Mastermind’s coverage of the 2016-17 Barclays Premier League season.


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