Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale & Dimitri Payet make the cutPublished July 11, 2016
Following Portugal’s unexpected Euro 2016 triumph, we at Free Bets, have selected our best XI of the tournament.
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (France)
The Spurs stopper was selected ahead of the likes of Manuel Neuer and Gigi Buffon for his commanding and assured performances in the knockout rounds of the competition.
As France captain, the 29-year-old, led by example, and came very close to international glory.
Centre-back: Jerome Boateng (Germany)
The Bayern Munich defender was a key component of a German side, who for long periods looked like they were going to win the tournament.
The 27-year-old enhanced his reputation as being one of the name’s best defenders in the world, and proved he could strike a ball too, following his cracking goal against Slovakia in the last-16.
Centre-back: Jose Fonte (Portugal)
The Southampton defender didn’t feature during the group stages, but was brought into Fernando Santos’ side following Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Hungary.
After his inclusion, Portugal went on to concede only one goal in the knockout rounds of the competition, and the 32-year-old played a pivotal role in their triumphant Euro 2016 victory.
Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)
The Juve defender was the star of an Italy side that exceeded expectations, knocking out reigning champions Spain and finding themselves just a penalty-kick away from dumping a highly fancied Germany side out of the competition.
Following an impressive tournament, the 29-year-old has been linked with a big money move to Manchester City.
Midfield: Renato Sanches (Portugal)
There is much hype surrounding the youngster, and while he didn’t have the best of games in the final he was certainly the breakthrough player of the tournament. The midfielder showed great creativity, and at just 18, Sanchez, could be worth every penny of the €35 million that Bayern have splashed out on him.
Midfield: Aaron Ramsey (Wales)
The Welsh midfielder was a massively influential figure throughout the tournament, and his absence during the semi-final against Portugal was a huge factor as to why Chris Coleman’s side fell short of claiming a historic place in the final.
Midfield: Toni Kroos (Germany)
Despite losing quite convincingly to hosts France in the semi-final, it was Germany who looked at times to be the best team in the competition, with Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos pulling the strings from midfield.
The 26-year-old was dominant in most games he featured in, and has certainly enhanced his already huge reputation.
Midfield: Dimitri Payet (France)
The West Ham star faded a touch as the tournament progressed, but Les Bleus would have struggled to finish top of their group if it had not been for the 29-year-old’s brilliance in the early fixtures.
West Ham face a battle to keep hold of him this summer.
Forward: Gareth Bale (Wales)
The Welsh wizard cemented his place as one of the world’s best players with some brilliant performances in France. The Real Madrid striker, carried the weight of a nation on his shoulders, and his goals nearly managed to pull off the unlikeliest of European Championship triumphs.
Forward: Antoine Griezmann (France)
With six goals at the tournament, Griezmann became the first player since Michel Platini to score more than five at the European Championships. The Atletico Madrid star ended the tournament as the Golden Boot winner, though the 24-year-old would have swapped personal accolades for the Euro 2016 trophy.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
The Portuguese icon has finally done what none of his rivals have been able to do, and claim international glory. The Real Madrid star may have not set the world alight in France, but his influence, and desire was there for all to see.
After finally winning the one thing which has eluded him throughout his career, should Cristiano Ronaldo now be considered the greatest of all time?