The group stages of Euro 2020 have seen some top quality football played throughout.
The tournament kicked off with Roberto Mancini’s Italy putting on a dominant display in a 3-0 victory over Turkey, and ended with two highly entertaining 2-2 draws between Portugal and France, and Germany and Hungary.
In total, 16 teams out of the 24 that began Euro 2020 have advanced to the knockout stages.
Let’s take a look that five of the best performing players during the tournament so far:
Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)
They were also missing the highly influential presence of Virgil van Dijk, and Frank de Boer’s side had a satisfactory if not spectacular start to the calendar year in terms of form.
But they have been excellent thus far, being one of only three teams to progress through to the knockouts with a 100% record.
A vital part of that run has been defender Denzel Dumfries. The PSV right-back has been excellent both defensively and going forward, and scored in both of his side’s opening two matches.
Manuel Locatelli (Italy)
Prior to his brace against Switzerland on matchday two, Manuel Locatelli had never scored twice in a game at professional level for club or country.
He took his goals superbly well. One came from a 40-yard run into the centre of the penalty area before a calm finish, whilst the other was a well-taken drive from range.
Locatelli earned a rest after that performance, and didn’t feature in Italy‘s 1-0 win over Wales that ensured they topped the group.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Five goals in three games. Another record broken. A second record potentially about to be broken. Just another tournament for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal forward has been at his absolute clinical best so far during Euro 2020. You feel like there’s more to come from this Portugal side in terms of performances, but Ronaldo has been their leading light in their push to qualify for the knockout stages.
His goal against Hungary – where he played a superb one-two before striding into the box and slotting the ball beyond the ‘keeper – was one of the goals of the opening matchday.
Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)
Patrik Schick has quite probably already won goal of the tournament for his outstanding 49 yard strike for Czech Republic against Scotland – the longest goal ever scored in the European Championships.
The 25-year-old – who plays for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany – had already scored from close range earlier on in the game, and backed those goals up with a penalty in the subsequent game against Croatia.
He was slightly more quiet against England, but with the Czechs through to the knockout stages, Schick will be keen to continue making a strong impression.
Danny Ward (Wales)
Danny Ward established himself as Wales’s number one at the end of last year, and has shown exactly why with some superb performances during Euro 2020.
He made an impressive save from Merih Demiral when Wales were leading 1-0 against Turkey – a result that ultimately sealed qualification for the knockout stages.
He had previously made another top save to deny Breel Embolo in the 90th minute in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland.
In the final group game against Italy, Ward made five saves in a 1-0 defeat.
The 28-year-old has recently signed a new four-year deal with Leicester City – although there are reports of interest from Wolves for next season.
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