Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament after Round of 16

Toni Kroos

44 of the 51 games at Euro 2016 have been played so far as the tournament heads into its final 11 days with the first quarter-final taking place on Thursday.

A number of players have put their name on the map, others increasing their transfer value, whilst some have been big disappointments.  Here is my team of the tournament so far:

GK: Michael McGovern (Northern Ireland)
Held both Germany and Poland to only one goal in between keeping a clean sheet versus Ukraine, Northern Ireland’s Michael McGovern has certainly made an excellent impression in this tournament.  This included denying Thomas Müller one-on-one before being by his teammate Gareth McAuley in their 1-0 exit to Wales in the second round.

Honourable mentions: Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Buffon, Hannes Þór Halldórsson, Łukasz Fabiański, Yann Sommer, Thibaut Courtois

RB: Darijo Srna (Croatia)
The ageing Croatia had an excellent tournament up to their exit against Portugal in the second round.  The right-back was both excellent defensively and going forward – also hit the crossbar versus Turkey from a free kick.  Provided good width down the right in the 4-2-3-1 formation.

Honourable mentions: Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Meunier

Centre-back: Jérôme Boateng (Germany)

The world champions are the only nation yet to concede a goal in France this summer and that was partly down to Jérôme Boateng with his goalline clearance in their opener versus Ukraine.  He’s tidied up at the back on a couple of occasions when Germany looked short on numbers and scored a stunning volley to give Joachim Löw’s side the lead in their second round win over Slovakia.

Centre-back: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)

The only goal Italy have conceded so far came when Antonio Conte made nine changes ahead of their 1-0 loss to the Republic of Ireland with the group already won.  Many thought Italy had a weak side heading into the tournament but have proven everyone wrong with three clean sheets and 2-0 wins over both Belgium and Spain.  Giorgio Chiellini scored the opener in the latter and has been a rock just like his Juventus teammates Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli.

Honourable mentions: Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Vedran Ćorluka, Kári Árnason, Ragnar Sigurðsson, Fabian Schär, Mats Hummels, Laurent Koscielny

LB: Jonas Hector (Germany)
The FC Köln left-back is certainly putting his CV out there with his performances so far in France.  A big summer move could be on the way for Jonas Hector at the end of the tournament as a result.  Yet to concede a goal and the 26-year-old is offering good supply in attack.

Honourable mentions: Jordi Alba, Ricardo Rodríguez

DM: Toni Kroos (Germany)
Player of the tournament so far, Toni Kroos, a reported £95m Manchester United target, has run the German midfield who are on course to win Euro 2016.  The Real Madrid midfielder has made more passes than any other player through four games, creating chances for his attacking teammates.  The world champions have averaged the most possession in the tournament and that is partly down to Kroos.

DM: Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
An excellent group stage performance as the Spanish superstar ran the victories over Czech Republic and Turkey, notably setting up Gerard Piqué’s in their opener.  It did fall apart after that but Andrés Iniesta was still class though the Italians did prevent him from dominating the game in their second round exit.

Honourable mentions: Granit Xhaka, N’Golo Kanté, Luka Modrić, Aron Ramsey, Milan Badelj, Aron Gunnarsson, Emanuele Giaccherini, Paul Pogba, Zoltán Gera

RW: Antoine Griezmann (France)
The Atlético Madrid forward made a slow start versus Romania before being benched against Albania before being brought on as a substitute to score the winning goal.  Antoine Griezmann scored a brace as France came from behind to beat Republic of Ireland in their second round tie.  There haven’t been a great deal of outstanding right wingers in this tournament.

Honourable mentions: Jakub Błaszczykowski, Thomas Müller

AM: Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)
After being stranded out on the right wing for Belgium’s opening 2-0 loss to Italy, Kevin De Bruyne has been excellent since moving into the number 10 role.  The Manchester City attacking midfielder has three assists in Belgium’s last three games and created many more chances for his teammates whilst also firing in a few efforts himself.

Honourable mentions: Ivan Rakitić, Gareth Bale, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Marek Hamšík

LW: Dimitri Payet (France)
There were a number of candidates for the left wing role but Dimitri Payet is a strong candidate for player of the tournament.  The West Ham playmaker scored a stunning late winner in the opening game of the tournament before a nice solo effort versus Albania.  Payet then came off the bench in their final group stage match versus Switzerland and struck the underside of the bar with a volley on the run.  Was instrumental in the comeback versus Republic of Ireland too.

Honourable mentions: Eden Hazard, Ivan Perišić, Julian Draxler

Striker: Mario Gómez (Germany)
No stand out strikers in this tournament so far nor an obvious candidate for the Golden Boot.  However, Mario Gómez has netted in both starts for Germany and made them a much more potent threat than they were in the first two games with Mario Götze up top.

Honourable mentions: Álvaro Morata, Graziano Pellè

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