With all the grandeur of club football, we can forget that international tournaments are a vital part of football’s tapestry. Every two years we are reminded, and Euro 2020 was no different.
One of the joys of international tournaments like Euro 2020 is that they’re a unique showcase for all kinds of players. Careers can be ignited or revived with a good tournament performance.
Below we discuss five players who came out of Euro 2020 with some extra stardust attached to their name.
Patrik Schick – Czech Republic
When Patrik Schick came through at Sampdoria, he was a young talent projected for big things. A failed medical scuppered a move to Juventus, and his career drifted as a result. The left-footed target man now plays for Bayer Leverkusen.
With 5 goals, he’s the joint top scorer of the tournament alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. His goal from the halfway line against Scotland will be remembered as one of the classic Euros goals.
Leonardo Spinazzola – Italy
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of player Spinazzola is, other than that he’s very exciting. Playing as a right footed left back for Italy, he lit up the early stages of the tournament. He sustained a nasty looking achilles injury and wasn’t able to take part in the latter stages. Nonetheless, the Roma player’s stock has never been higher.
Mikkel Damsgaard – Denmark
The Sampdoria Midfielder has only been playing outside of his native Denmark for a year. He wouldn’t have expected to make a splash at the Euros. He made up for the unfortunate circumstances involving Christian Eriksen by filling in for him with distinction. It may be to soon for a bigger move for the 20 year old, but he will be on a lot of teams’ radars now.
Raheem Sterling – England
Sterling has seemingly fallen out of favour at Manchester City, with some reports suggesting he could leave the club. The man who replaced him at City, Phil Foden, did not keep him out of the England team. Three goals and one assist doesn’t tell the whole story of Sterling’s tournament. His drive, his dribbling and technical quality was the spark for an England team who played conservatively. Vital contributions against Croatia, the Czech Republic and Germany laid the foundations for their Final run.
Pedri – Spain
The narrative of Spain’s tournament centered around the fact that they were a shadow of their former selves. However, the tradition of prodigious Barcelona talents lighting it up for Spain is alive in Pedri. The 18-year old showed that he has the potential to lead both Spain and Barcelona back to former glories.
It’s not all pretty passing and good technique with Pedri either. He covered the third most distance throughout the entire tournament.