The Ultimate Euro 2016 XI: Who Makes the Grade? Who Misses Out?Published June 8, 2016
The wait is nearly over; Euro 2016 is firmly on the horizon.
With only a matter of days until the big kick-off in Paris on June 10th, anticipation has hit fever pitch, as fans from across the world get ready to enjoy a month of pure football, as twenty-four teams battle it out to claim European supremacy, and a place in the history books.
In the build-up to the opening match on Friday, we have taken on the difficult task of naming a combined EURO XI, from the 552 players expected to take part at this tournament in France this summer.
Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Despite one or two recent mistakes, the Bayern keeper is still the world’s best. Confident, composed, brilliant.
Left-back – Jordi Alba (Spain)
Super quick and mobile. Offers both defensive solidity and an attacking threat. Important for both club and country.
Centre-back – Toby Alderweireld (Belgium)
Enjoyed a fantastic season in the Premier League, and has now transformed into one of Europe’s top centre-backs.
Centre-back – Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)
Part of a Juventus side that only conceded 20 goals in Serie A last season. A mainstay for both club and country. A crucial player for Italy this summer.
Right-back – Hector Bellerin (Spain)
The 21-year-old has been extremely impressive ever since breaking into the Arsenal first team last year, and the Spaniard won’t be phased making his tournament debut.
Midfield – Paul Pogba (France)
Is steadily developing into the world’s best all-round midfielder. Has all the tools to lead the hosts to glory.
Midfield – Sergio Busquets (Spain)
The best holding midfielder in the world. The 27-year-old is an unsung hero for both club and country but his importance is massive.
Right-wing Antoine Griezmann (France)
The 25-year-old netted 32 times for Atlei this season, and was instrumental in Madrid’s run to the Champions League final. Has the potential to light up the tournament this summer.
Left-wing – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
People may say he’s not at his peak, but Ronaldo still ended the football season as the main man, after Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph. Full of goals and desire.
Attacking-midfielder – Thomas Muller (Germany)
The German’s goalscoring record for his country is there for all to see. Instrumental for Germany during their World Cup success, and still as important as ever.
Striker – Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
England striker Harry Kane is one of many who might count themselves unfortunate to miss out here, but he’s not quite at Lewandowski’s level at the moment. The 27-year-old is the complete centre-forward and was prolific for Poland during qualification.