After England’s heartbreaking defeat in the final of Euro 2020 to Italy on Sunday, the tournament is officially over.
It has been a rollercoaster of a month full of drama, underdog stories, and great goals where ultimately the best team prevailed.
Italy’s triumph was fully deserved, and that has been reflected by UEFA after they announced the official team of the tournament for Euro 2020.
Unsurprisingly the team includes several Italians, but let’s look at the rest of the team and how they performed during this tournament.
GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma
The semi-final and final penalty shootout hero was named player of the tournament after Sunday’s final.
The AC Milan stopper became the first goalkeeper in history to win that accolade.
22-year-old Donnarumma kept 3 clean sheets and made 9 saves as his side went all the way.
His immense stature made him terrifying for attackers and Italy seem to have another Buffon on their hands for years to come.
Out of contract with Milan, Donnarumma has been most notably linked to PSG, who will be even more eager to get the deal done after his performances at Euro 2020.
RB: Kyle Walker
Manchester City’s Kyle Walker was seen as one of the veteran leaders of England’s group and his performances certainly showed that.
After struggling in the opener against Croatia, he improved with every game.
His pace and defensive awareness were vital for England and he showed his versatility by comfortably slotting into center back when England played a back 5.
Walker was a big part of England only conceding 2 goals all tournament, neither from open play.
With Walker now on the wrong side of 30, he will be determined to go one stage further at next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
CB: Harry Maguire
Manchester United’s center half went into the tournament with massive fitness doubts and didn’t play until the third round of group games.
However, Maguire stepped in like he had never left and looked remarkably comfortable for someone who was out for 6 weeks.
He brings an added layer of solidity to England’s defense and his progressive runs and passing range make him key going forward as well.
After his goal in the quarter-finals, he completed a rare record of scoring in the quarter-finals of both the Euros and the World Cup.
The penalty scored in the final shootout summed up Maguire’s composure and authority shown throughout England’s run.
CB: Leonardo Bonucci
Arguably Italy’s best player alongside his goalkeeper, Bonucci is everything you want in a center-back.
People questioned the age of Italy’s partnership at the back with Bonucci (34) and Chiellini (36), but they proved age means nothing.
Bonucci led from the back and dominated game after game stopping the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane from running riot.
In what could possibly be his last tournament, he summed up everything good about his Italy side, playing with determination and passion.
Going forward it is hard to imagine how Italy eventually replace the world-class pair of Bonucci and Chiellini.
LB: Leonardo Spinazzola
Roma’s Leonardo Spinazzola definitely takes the crown of the most underappreciated player of Euro 2020.
His performances put his name on the map as fans began to take notice of how much quality he has running up and down the left flank.
Before his devastating injury against Belgium, he was one of Italy’s best performers of the tournament being the team’s main creative influence.
The 28-year-old has been a key figure in multiple top teams in Serie A for some years, but with his performances this month it would be no surprise if teams around Europe show interest.
His injury could keep him out for some time but expect him to play a key role if Italy want to add another World Cup to their cabinet next winter.
The Chelsea regista can be a polarizing figure at times and his effectiveness in a Premier League side has been questioned in the past.
However, his effectiveness with his national side can not be understated.
He makes the team tick and is essential in Italy’s midfield system being so strong.
Whilst he sits and dictates play it allows Verrati and Barella on either side to push on.
His Pirlo-like role is vital and that was shown as the Azzuri went all the way.
Not to mention he scored the winning penalty to send them to the final and put in a huge performance against England.
Chelsea fans will hope he can carry this form into club-level under Thomas Tuchel for the upcoming season.
For those who haven’t watched Barcelona much over the last year, Pedri will now be a name known to all.
The winner of the young player of the tournament was a joy to watch throughout Spain’s run to the semi-finals.
At just 18 years old he didn’t look out of place in a midfield with Sergio Busquets, with his manager comparing him to legends of the past in Xavi and Iniesta.
Creativity and class ooze from Pedri and his forward passing was the spark in most things good about Spain at Euro 2020.
This is certainly just the beginning for young Pedri, who has already clocked up over 60 games this season and has become a first-team regular at Barcelona.
CM: Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg
The Spurs midfielder has made a name for himself as being underrated and his national side proved to be just that during Euro 2020.
Although the more avid football fan may have predicted Denmark’s success, after 2 games and 0 points I don’t think anyone expected a run to the semi-finals.
A final group game win saw them through on 3 points and the team rallied on, with Höjbjerg being vital to that.
Playing a similar role to Jorginho, Höjbjerg dictated the pace for Denmark as well as protecting the defenders behind him.
After Eriksen’s incident, who was their main leader, Höjbjerg really stepped up and led his side with class and became part of a memorable run for Danish football.
RW: Federico Chiesa
Another Italian whose name is now certainly on the map, the winger came into the side for the later stages of the tournament and was a constant threat.
Chiesa, currently on loan at Serie A giants Juventus, chipped in with 2 goals and worked tirelessly up and down the flanks for his side.
His performance in the final certainly made him known to English fans, as he caused all sorts of problems towards the end of the game driving at defenders.
At just 23, Chiesa looks to be on his way to becoming a top player in Europe and will sure to be a part of the Azzuri for years to come.
ST: Romelu Lukaku
The talisman of Belgium’s golden generation, Romelu Lukaku was hugely impressive once again on the international stage.
During Belgium’s run to the quarter-finals, the Inter forward scored 4 goals in 5 games and was carrying the load for his teammates.
Although Belgium fans will be disappointed with their early exit, it was not for the want of trying by Lukaku, who was probably the Red Devils’ best player.
The fitness of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard really affected Belgium’s hopes and their aging defense proved to be their downfall.
Many see this as the end of this golden era as many of the star players are heading out of their prime years.
However, we have seen age can mean very little and I’m sure Lukaku and co will be back for another shot at glory in Qatar2022.
LW: Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling epitomizes everything this England side stands for. Determination, respect, and humility.
His ability to keep proving people wrong is truly inspiring and I hope any remaining doubters will be gone after his performances at this tournament.
England’s best player in a team all about togetherness, his goals alone got England top spot in their group.
The goal against Germany will go down in history and his assist against Ukraine highlighted his playmaking abilities too.
England’s left-hand side of Shaw and Sterling was huge in the run to the final and let’s hope Sterling continues to make strides in preparation for Qatar next year.