After a year-long delay due to the global pandemic, The stage is all set for the most awaited football tournament to kick off from today. UEFA Euros 2020 is finally happening!!
Month-long fixtures of great exciting games and a wide variety of talents participating to make sure they represent their country in the grand stage for the glory, it seems it’s going to be one memorable tournament with a lot of thrill, drama, and unexpected twists and turns.
This edition of Euros would be featuring a mixed set of talents (Both experienced and the emerging one), it would be difficult to choose the top 5 out from the lot, But based on their performance and influence for their clubs and for the nation in friendlies and qualifiers, These are my Top 5 picks to shine in the upcoming tournament:
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1. Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku had an amazing domestic season with Inter Milan with almost 30 goals and 10 assists across all competition. The striker would be influential in Belgium’s success in this campaign and with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne by his side from the 2nd game, Lukaku would be a serious threat for the oppositions. Lukaku for me is a no-brainer contender for UEFA Euros 2020 Golden Boot award and would be the favorite if Belgium manages to make it to the semifinals. Belgium is an attacking team and Lukaku’s contribution towards the goal would be something to look for.
2. Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes needs no introduction! Definitely one of the top midfielders out there, Bruno has been the most valuable player for United this season and it’s easy to predict that the influential nature and aura of Bruno would be something Portugal would use to the fullest in their campaign to defend their UEFA Euro Title. Bruno Fernandes’s contribution in both creating and scoring goals is something Portugal can advantage and it would be a lot easier for Cristiano Ronaldo to jell up with such a great talent and unreal squad depth that Portugal offers in this UEFA Euros 2020 season.
3. Gianluigi Donnarumma
Italians for me are the Darkhorse in this UEFA Euros 2020 Campaign, They have a lot to prove for the unsuccessful and failed attempts in the past for the road to International glory in the last 8-9 years. The Azzurri would set up defensively and would make their opponents pay for breaking the defense apart. This setup has recently been so successful that Italians have managed to concede 1 goal from last September and Donnarumma has been pivotal in this success. The Azzurri would be highly dependent on the young goalkeeper to keep the momentum going forward in this campaign.
4. Phil Foden
The rising star Phil Foden from Stockport, Manchester could be the one who can bring life into England’s most awaited football glory. The youngster had a perfect season under Pep Guardiola who managed to unlock his full potential and managed to become a regular starter in Manchester City. This youngster has a lot to offer both from a creative and scoring aspect. The biggest question would be: ‘Can Southgate unlock the full potential that this youngster offers?’. Only time would tell but I place my bets on Phil Foden than any other top star England has to offer and believe that ‘Football is finally returning home!’
5. Georginio Wijnaldum
With the absence of Virgil Van Dijk due to ACL injury, Netherlands would be led by Georginio Wijnaldum, A player with a lot of experience and the ability to play multiple roles depending on the situation. A lot would question my decision to add Gini to this list but we cannot change the fact that Wijnaldum has been an absolute baller for his country. With the absence of Memphis Deepay due to injury, Wijnaldum managed to get into the scoresheet regularly and get his country the crucial wins needed for the qualifiers.
A similar setup would see Wijnaldum play the role of Second Striker or Advance midfielder if Netherlands struggle to score in the initial games. His experience will play a pivotal role if Netherlands hopes to have a great campaign in this UEFA Euros 2020.
While making this list I had decided to keep the big names like Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne (and many more which you were expecting to make the list) aside because its obvious to expect them to step up and perform for their nation based on their form, experience, and role into the team.
Nevertheless, UEFA Euros 2020 will surely be a great campaign with a complete entertainment package. Which team are you rooting for to win the Trophy and which 5 players will make it into your list ahead of the UEFA Euros 2020? Let me know in the comments section below.
A passionate football enthusiast with the hunger to learn more and more each day from this beautiful game.
Senior Software Analyst.