Euro 2020 is in the books, and it turned out to be one of the most thrilling European Championships in the tournament’s history.
There were more than enough classic games, cracking goals and moments of madness to keep any football fan satisfied, so sorting the best of the best is no easy task.
But we’ve had a crack. This is the tournament that was Euro 2020.
Best goal — Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)
In a tough field, Schick gets the nod with his effort from the halfway line against Scotland.
Often these halfway goals can be put down more to poor goalkeeping than excellent finishing, but you can’t exactly say that for this one.
Also in Schick’s favour is the fact that he took the shot on first time, making the technique involved that much more impressive.
Also Scottish keeper David Marshall absolutely ate it in the net trying to keep it out, which was great.
Own goal of the tournament — Martin Dúbravka (Slovakia)
An even tougher field, this one. Spain’s Pedri (thanks to a stinker of an effort from keeper Unai Simón) has a real claim to it, but it’s a different keeper who gets the nod.
What makes this great is that there is really nothing else that could have happened. If you had never watched a game of football before and didn’t know the rules, you would swear he was intentionally trying to spike the ball into the back of the net.
Keeping is hard, and he was no doubt nervous standing underneath the ball as it deflected into the air, but there were at least 15 things he could and should have done before belting into his own goal.
Player of the tournament — Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)
His teammate Jorginho probably has a claim to the title, as does England’s Raheem Sterling, while the official player of the tournament award inexplicably went to Italy’s keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
We’ve gone for Chiellini as much for his imperious defence as for his statesmanlike demeanour, for being a calming and commanding presence at the heart of the tournament’s best team and for providing some of its funniest moments.
We’re talking about his pre-penalty rendezvous with Spain’s Jordi Alba in the semi-final, and his instantly memeable “tackle” on Bukayo Saka in the final.
Young player of the tournament — Pedri (Spain)
Where did this boy come from? At 18 years old, Barcelona’s Pedri suddenly has the world at his feet.
He is a Spanish midfielder in every sense of the term, owning the ball and dictating his team’s play like Xavi and Iniesta before him. For the 90 minutes of regulation time in the semi-final against Italy, Pedri literally did not misplace a single one of his 55 passes.
You might not have known much about him a month ago, but you’ll be hearing a lot more now.
Game of the tournament — France 3-3 Switzerland (4-5 on penalties)
We’re going back to the round of 16 for this cracker, which came on one of the maddest days in the history of the European Championships.
Just a few hours before, Spain had beaten Croatia 5-3 in an extra-time classic (another potential winner of this prize), but that game was topped by Switzerland’s remarkable comeback win over France.
At 3-1 down, Switzerland were dead and buried until late goals from Haris Seferovic and Mario Gavranović changed everything. In the end it was Kylian Mbappé’s missed penalty that decided a pulsating match.
The goals were great, the action frenetic and in the end, the underdog prevailed. What more do you want? This guy, for one.
Team of the tournament (in a 3-5-2 formation)
- GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)
- CB: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)
- CB: Harry Maguire (England)
- CB: Simon Kjær (Denmark)
- LWB: Luke Shaw (England)
- CM: Jorginho (Italy)
- CM: Paul Pogba (France)
- CM: Pedri (Spain)
- RWB: Joakim Mæhle (Denmark)
- ST: Raheem Sterling (England)
- ST: Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)