Agree with our picks?
We’re officially through the first set of fixtures from Euro 2020, and we’ve already seen some historic moments on the pitch.
But who has impressed the most? Which players can hold their heads high, and which lads have all the confidence going into an important part of the tournament?
Here are our picks for the best starting XI from Matchday 1 of Euro 2020.
GK: Lukáš Hrádecký.
The Finland goalkeeper played an absolute stormer to keep Denmark out in what must have been an extremely tough couple of hours for everyone involved. Hrádecký even saved a penalty when the match was shifting in Denmark’s favour. A great performance, and a long way away from this howler earlier in the season.
RB: Nelson Semedo.
Semedo was only playing for Portugal because Joao Cancelo was forced to pull out of the squad. The Wolves full-back while he didn’t have the same chemistry with Bernardo Silva that his Manchester City teammate would have had, but Semedo did well to keep the Hungarians at bay, while also providing some much-needed pace.
CB: Raphael Varane.
Varane was one of many French players who played flawlessly against Germany on Tuesday night. It should have been a very difficult game for the French defenders, but Varane ensured it was not. Stunning.
CB: Milan Skriniar.
It feels wrong to include a defender purely because he got a crucial goal, but Slovakia needed someone to step up against Poland, and Skriniar did. All while keeping Robert Lewandowski completely silent too.
LB: Leonardo Spinazzola
A constant threat for Italy against Turkey, and completely solid at the back. He is built for international football and could have even more excellent performances as the tournament goes on.
Another Italian who didn’t put a foot wrong in the Euro 2020 opener. Masterful from the Chelsea midfielder, who has had his critics over the past few years. A Champions League win and a strong Euro 2020 in the space of a few months could silence his doubters for good.
CDM: Kalvin Phillips
To put it bluntly, Kalvin Phillips made Declan Rice look average next to him on Sunday afternoon. Bielsa’s tough training methods have clearly paid off, because the Leeds midfielder was absolutely everywhere against an excellent Croatian midfield, and could be in line for a big transfer this summer.
CAM: Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba’s performance against Germany was the sort of one that Manchester United fans only see a few times per season, but acts as a reminder that when he’s on it, he is one of the best midfielders in the world.
CAM: Gini Wijnaldum
Gini Wijnaldum plays a more advanced role for this Netherlands side than we are used to seeing at Liverpool, and he does it to great effect. Maybe Paris Saint-Germain will benefit from this version of Wijnaldum in the coming years.
ST: Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku was a handful against Russia, and he got his reward with two well-taken goals. The favourite for the Golden Boot looks well on his way to getting some individual silverware after an excellent domestic season with Inter Milan.
ST: Patrik Schick
You don’t score from the halfway line and miss out on a Starting XI like this. The Czech Republic forward also scored the opening goal of the game, which would be getting a lot more attention if he didn’t get the crazy second goal from around 50 yards out.
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— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 14, 2021
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