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Euro 2016: The Guardian’s Team of the Tournament | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Football Soccer – Portugal v France – EURO 2016 – Final – Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France – 10/7/16Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Ricardo Quaresma, Nani, Rui Patricio and the trophy after winning Euro 2016 REUTERS/Carl RecineLivepic

Euro 2016 drew to a close on Sunday night with Portugal beating France in the final in Paris. As with all tournaments there were some good games and some bad games but most were intense and highly watchable.

At the Guardian we have rated every single performance in France and can now present our official best and worst team of the tournament.

A player must have played in at least four games to be included in the starting XI for our team of Euro 2016. For our flops XI a minimum of two matches were required to be included.


Lukasz Fabianski –7.25

The Pole gets the nod instead of Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon and Northern Ireland’s Michael McGovern (both also on 7.25/10) because he made more saves during the tournament (20) than McGovern (17) and Buffon (10). The Swansea City player replaced Wojciech Szczesny for Poland’s second group game and was given three 7/10s and one 8/10 (the latter for his performance against Switzerland in the last 16, when Poland proceeded on penalties). Hugo Lloris was handed straight 7s and Portugal’s Rui Patricio paid for conceding three goals against Hungary and ended up with an average rating of 6.42.


Joshua Kimmich – 7.5

Aged only 21, the Bayern Munich player has showed remarkable maturity throughout the tournament. Has mainly played centrally for RB Leipzig and, last season, for Bayern, in defence or midfield, but excelled at right-back for Germany in France. Pep Guardiola said last season that he “has got absolutely everything” and he is so versatile he has already been dubbed the new Philipp Lahm. He scored one of the penalties against Italy and his only rivals for the right-back spot in the team of the tournament were Kyle Walker (7) and Elseid Hysaj (7) – who played three games each and would not have been considered – and Darijo Srna and Lukasz Piszczek (both 6.75).

Ragnar Sigurdsson – 7.2

A totemic presence in the centre of an Iceland defence that proved extremely difficult to break down. Helped out by his central defensive partner, Kari Arnason, they frustrated Portugal (1-1), Hungary (1-1), Austria (2-1) and England (2-1) before succumbing to France 5-2. Benefitting from the coaching and organisation of his co-coaches Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson (as did the whole team), the 30-year-old Krasnodar player could be on his way to the Premier League with several clubs interested in signing him.

Giorgio Chiellini – 7.5

Superbly aided by his Juventus team-mates Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci – and guided by Gianluigi Buffon behind him in goal – the 31-year-old from Pisa got the best average rating of the three Italian central defenders (7.5 compared to Bonucci’s 7.0 and Barzagli’s 6.0) and was the best defender at the tournament together with Kimmich, according to our judges. Other contenders for centre back were Kamil Glik (7.2), José Fonte, Michal Pazdan and Jérôme Boateng (all 7.0) as well as Pepe (6.83)

Raphaël Guerreiro – 7.2

Grew stronger as the tournament wore on. The 22-year-old Portugal left back, who was born in Paris, was solid defensively and a threat going forward. Borussia Dortmund will be pleased they signed him from Lorient before the Euros for a fee reported to be around £9m. It was not a vintage tournament for full-backs and Guerreiro’s nearest challengers were Jonny Evans and Martin Olsson (both on 7.0 but the latter only played three games) as well as Jonas Hector (6.83) and Ricardo Rodríguez (6.75).

Defensive midfield

Grzegorz Krychowiak – 7.2

The Pole keeps his place after being named in the team of the group stages – but only just. Eden Hazard and Mesut Özil also scored 7.2 but this team needed a more defensive-minded holding player and therefore Krychowiak gets the nod. Toni Kroos and Renato Sanches finished on 7.17 with Paul Pogba on 7.14 after a disappointing final. Krychowiak was a supremely calm presence at the heart of Poland’s midfield as they progressed to the quarter-finals, where they lost on penalties to the eventual winners Portugal. The 26-year-old signed for Paris St-Germain from Sevilla a few days after Poland were eliminated.


Ivan Perisic – 7.5

The Inter player flourished on the right hand side of midfield as Croatia surprised everyone and won Group D over Spain. Extremely hard-working – as well as skilful – he scored two goals and provided one assist. Was part of one of the best midfields of the tournament (together with Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric) before they ran aground against Portugal in the last 16. Still only 27, he has improved every season since leaving Borussia Dortmund in 2013. Jakub Blaszczykowski (6.8) and Ricardo Quaresma (6.86) were two other players who performed well on the right hand side of midfield.

Andrés Iniesta – 7.5

Spain may have gone home after losing to Italy in the last 16 and largely had a tournament to forget but with two 8/10s and two 7/10s Iniesta still makes our team of the tournament. Such a classy player, he makes the game look so simple. Did not feature in our team of the group stages but, as others fell away, he now makes up the central midfield with Aaron Ramsey.

Aaron Ramsey – 7.8

The Welshman had a superb tournament and was his team’s best player by some distance. Gareth Bale had moments of brilliance and Ashley Williams led the defence heroically but Ramsey was at the heart of everything. His tireless running exhausted opponents and galvanised his team-mates. Was given an 8/10 in four of the five games he played and Wales looked a completely different side without him when he was suspended for the semi-final loss against Portugal.

Dmitri Payet – 7.29

Has been a joy to watch in the past month (well, all season in fact), and his technique when shooting or crossing has been exemplary. Pretty much carried the hosts through the group stages when his stunning 89th-minute goal beat Romania in the opening game and his strike against Albania ensured progress into the last 16. His influence faded as Antoine Griezmann took centre stage but his place in our team of the tournament was never in doubt, despite his substitution in the final.


Antoine Griezmann – 7.29

The Atlético Madrid forward takes the sole attacking place in this team after he won the Golden Boot with six goals – twice as many as any other player at the tournament. In the end it was not enough to help his side win the tournament, and coming so soon after Atlético fell at the last hurdle in the Champions League, will have left the 25-year-old heartbroken. He showed at Euro 2016 that he is a complete player. Gareth Bale just misses out on a place in the team with an average rating of 7.17 while Italy’s Éder finished with 7.0.

(The Guardian Sport)