sport news Sportsmail picks our best team of the Euro 2020 group stage

sport news Sportsmail picks our best team of the Euro 2020 group stage
sport news Sportsmail picks our best team of the Euro 2020 group stage

The Euro 2020 group stage is now complete and eight teams are packing their bags to go home while 16 prepare to battle it out in the knockout stages.

There have been some seriously impressive performances so far with Italy, Belgium and Holland all winning their three group games to breeze into the last 16.

England are also in there, while France, Germany and Portugal had a nervy night on Wednesday as they managed to squeeze through in the Group of Death.

There have also been a number of impressive individual displays so far with Cristiano Ronaldo out in front in the Golden Boot race and the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Denzel Dumfries catching the eye.

Here, Sportsmail has picked our team of the Euro 2020 group stage and also selected five substitutes who just missed the cut.  

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

Cristiano Ronaldo lit up the Euro 2020 group stage and currently leads the Golden Boot race

Cristiano Ronaldo lit up the Euro 2020 group stage and currently leads the Golden Boot race

CHRIS SUTTON'S TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR  

GK Danny Ward, Wales

Ward has made more appearances for Wales at this tournament than league appearances for his parent clubs Liverpool and Leicester since 2012, which is a pretty remarkable statistic!

He’s used to being on the substitutes’ bench, but now he’s one of Euro 2020’s top shot-stoppers.

RB Denzel Dumfries, Holland

The standout star of Holland’s opening two group games as the energetic right back was involved in all five goals in those encounters. Frank de Boer’s 3-4-1-2 system allows him to fly down that right-hand side. His work-rate is outstanding, and it is little wonder the PSV full back is being linked with Premier League clubs. 

CB Simon Kjaer, Denmark

What a captain. We have to commend this 32-year-old centre back for his response to Christian Eriksen collapsing — the way he sprinted to his stricken team-mate to help, had his fellow players create a barrier around him, and then consoled his terrified wife on the touchline. 

CB Tyrone Mings, England

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

Mings deputised for Harry Maguire at a time when there was a great deal of scrutiny on Gareth Southgate’s selection of him and he kept two clean sheets alongside John Stones, hardly ever putting a foot wrong. Brought coolness at the back. Southgate knows he can count on Mings.  

LB Leonardo Spinazzola, Italy

Nobody has been clocked at a faster speed at this tournament than Spinazzola, who was caught doing 21mph down that left-hand side.

He hit the ground running in Italy’s opening 3-0 victory over Turkey and hasn’t looked back.

RM Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium

He missed the first match against Russia, was an influential substitute in the second against Denmark and then started the third against Finland. Now those creative juices are flowing and Belgium are flying into the knockout stages. The Belgians must be so thankful that De Bruyne was able to participate after that facial injury.   

CM Gini Wijnaldum, Holland

Considering the sort of cheques PSG are used to writing when signing players, they must be giddy at getting the ultimate bargain with Wijnaldum, who’s joining them on a free from Liverpool. The 30-year-old captain is covering great distances, creating chances and scoring goals. 

LM Manuel Locatelli, Italy

He was the top passer in Serie A last season and this 23-year-old has been coolness personified in Italy’s midfield at Euro 2020. He scored twice against Switzerland and then rested against Wales, because Roberto Mancini knows how vital Locatelli will be in the knockouts. 

FW Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

I’m not naming him in my team because I admire his Coca-Cola stance — I’m naming him because he’s a record-breaker. Ronaldo is now the top scorer in Euros history after yet another goal-laden tournament. 

FW Romelu Lukaku, Belgium

De Bruyne has now assisted Lukaku at four consecutive tournaments — 2014 World Cup, Euro 2016, 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020. I wrote a few weeks ago that Lukaku should be a Golden Boot contender, and that’s the way it’s panning out.

FW Patrik Schick, Czech Republic

The surprise headline maker of this tournament, following on from that 50-yard wonder-strike against Scotland. That’s the second-greatest goal ever scored at a European Championship in my view — after Marco van Basten’s marvellous volley against the Soviet Union in 1988. We all know about him now.

Advertisement

GK - Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)

Three games, three clean sheets. You can't ask for much more than that from your No 1 goalkeeper.

Yes, Italy haven't come up against much quality so far but Donnarumma has looked assured in all three of their group games and rarely been troubled. 

In fact, Donnarumma has not conceded a single goal in international football in the nine matches he has played since a Nations League game with Holland back in October 2020. 

At just 22 it is no wonder that Paris Saint-Germain are so keen to tie the Italian down to a five-year contract when he makes his expected free transfer from AC Milan this summer. 

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma kept three clean sheets in their three group matches

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma kept three clean sheets in their three group matches 

RB - Denzel Dumfries (Holland)

The Dutch wing-back has been one of the breakout stars of the tournament and, if he wasn't already, has exploded onto the radars of Europe's top clubs.

His skillset perfectly fits what Frank de Boer wants from his wing-backs in Holland's 3-5-2 system and Dumfries has contributed both in attack and defence so far.

The PSV Eindhoven star scored in the opening win over Ukraine before grabbing another and laying on an assist in the 2-0 win over Austria. He was given just 45 minutes against North Macedonia but helped Holland keep a clean sheet there, too.

Dumfries' energy, speed, strength and stamina make him ideal for the role he is being asked to play and any opposition will need to keep him under control if they are to have any chance of beating Holland in the knockout stages. 

Denzel Dumfries has been a revelation for Holland, marauding up and down their right side

Denzel Dumfries has been a revelation for Holland, marauding up and down their right side

CB - John Stones (England)

There was a lot of uncertainty around England's defence going into Euro 2020 with Harry Maguire's fitness doubts and debate over whether they would play a back four or five.

But Gareth Southgate's side kept three clean sheets in the group stage and looked solid at the back, despite changing the full-backs in all three games and the centre back pairing against the Czech Republic.

The only constant in all three games was John Stones and the Manchester City star has seemingly carried his superb form at club level this season into the tournament.

Comfortable in possession, strong in the air and not afraid to challenge attackers, Stones has been impressive so far and, now Maguire looks like he's back to full fitness, they give England a platform for their attacking players to do damage. 

John Stones helped England keep three clean sheets, ending any doubts over their defence

John Stones helped England keep three clean sheets, ending any doubts over their defence

CB - Leonardo Bonucci

read more from dailymail.....

PREV sport news Tokyo Olympics: Chase Kalisz wins 400m individual medley with Team GB's Max ...
NEXT Brendon Smith wins Australia's first medal at Tokyo in 400m individual medley