Friday 23 March 2018

Portugal, Wales and France all represented in Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament

Simon Peach

Euro 2016 came to an end on Sunday night with Portugal springing a surprise with victory over hosts France in Sunday's final.

Here Press Association Chief Football Writer Simon Peach selects his team of the tournament, who line up in a 4-3-3 formation.

RUI PATRICIO (PORTUGAL): Played well in the final and as part of the victorious team edges ahead of Hugo Lloris, Manuel Neuer, Michael McGovern and Lukasz Fabianski to secure the spot in goal.

DARIJO SRNA (CROATIA): Chosen ahead of Chris Gunter, Joshua Kimmich and Kyle Walker. Not only did he perform impressively but did so while coping with the death of his father. Srna flew home for the funeral during the group stage but did not miss a match.

LEONARDO BONUCCI (ITALY): The Azzurri back line was thoroughly impressive at Euro 2016, with the composed, imposing centre-back the stand-out performer. Not only a key player defensively but able to provide incisive passes, such as the one he laid on for Emanuele Giaccherini's goal against Belgium. Bonucci's penalty to level against Germany underlined his ability to lead by example.

Italy's defender Leonardo Bonucci (L) celebrates with Italy's forward Lorenzo Insigne after scoring during the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Germany and Italy at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on July 2, 2016. / AFP / Mehdi FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)

RAGNAR SIGURDSSON (ICELAND): The smallest country to ever grace a major tournament captivated and inspired those watching Euro 2016. Sigurdsson was their rock at the back alongside Kari Arnason, his composure and strength particularly shone as they knocked England out in the last 16.

RAPHAEL GUERREIRO (PORTUGAL): A consistent performer for the winners at left-back and was almost the hero with a free-kick that struck the crossbar in extra-time minutes before Eder sealed it. Pips Germany's Jonas Hector to the left-back position.

AARON RAMSEY (WALES): You only needed to see the semi-final display against Portugal to see how important the absent Arsenal midfielder has been to Wales. Ramsey impressed along with Joe Allen and his passing range - and know-how on when to keep possession - was crucial in the historic run to the last four, so too his defensive contribution.

TONI KROOS (GERMANY): The 26-year-old is one of the best midfielders in Europe, with his mixture of incredible passing range and equally-impressive vision. Dictated proceedings for Germany but was unable to prevent his country bowing out to hosts France in the semi-finals.

Toni Kroos

DIMITRI PAYET (FRANCE): Initially dismissed by Didier Deschamps, the West Ham man's form led to a recall and what an inspired decision it has proven. Outstanding for the hosts with two man-of-the-match displays and as many goals in the group stage, Payet continued to impress in the knock-out stages, scoring a sublime effort against Iceland.

CRISTIANO RONALDO (PORTUGAL): The 31-year-old started slowly and was mocked by some as the Portuguese stumbled through the group behind Hungary and Iceland. But Ronaldo shone against the former and was the catalyst as Fernando Santos' men overcame Wales, deservedly winning the man-of-the-match award as he took his tournament tally to three goals and three assists. Injury severely limited his impact on the final but over the piece he earned his place in this XI.

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (FRANCE): Following a fine season with Atletico Madrid, it should perhaps come as little surprise to see Griezmann shining so brightly for the home nation. A fine finisher and intelligent in possession, the 25-year-old's brace against world champions Germany saw the home nation into the final, taking his tally to six for the tournament, but he had a disappointing final and should have scored a seventh but headed over the top from close range in the second half.

GARETH BALE: Brought Real Madrid's winning mentality to the Welsh team on their first major tournament appearance for 58 years. Bale talked a good game in France and backed it up with performances, netting in all three group matches and continuing to shine as Chris Coleman's men made it all the way to the last four.

Press Association

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