As the frenzy comes to an end with Italy winning their second European Championship in dramatic fashion after a penalty shootout at London’s Wembley Stadium with host England on Sunday night, we take a look at the top players. at Euro 2020.
Gianluigi Donnarumma became the unlikely hero of the Azzurri as he saved from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka at the iconic Wembley Stadium, before being named best player at UEFA Euro 2020.
🇮🇹 Italy becomes a two-time EURO champion! # EURO2020 | #ITA pic.twitter.com/xT83qJlVpE
– UEFA EURO 2020 (@ EURO2020) July 11, 2021
The three lions had taken an early lead after Luke Shaw scored the fastest goal in a European Championship final, but the Italians came back in the second half when Leonardo Bonucci scored from the corner to level the score.
And the match was reduced to penalties when Jordan Pickford and Gianluigi Donnarumma realized that it was their responsibility to win the European Championship and to have their names recorded in the history books.
But ultimately, the Italian goalkeeper ended up on the winning side when Sancho and Saka missed after Rashford hit the post for the Three Lions in London.
As the quadrennial tournament draws to a close, FootTheBall Check out the top performers from UEFA Euro 2020 who wowed audiences with their skills and talents and played themselves into the collective consciousness of billions of fans.
BEST PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT –GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA
Gianluigi Donnarumma stole the show for the Azzurri when he became the shootout superhero for the Azzurri to give them their first European Championship title since 1968.
The former AC Milan goalkeeper who is reportedly being courted by Paris-Saint Germain was a rock in the back for Roberto Mancini’s team throughout the tournament.
🇮🇹 Donnarumma = national hero!# EURO2020 https://t.co/a2e0vBWkPz pic.twitter.com/gG0WJyf5qc
– UEFA EURO 2020 (@ EURO2020) July 11, 2021
The goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in every group stage match he played in, as Italy finished atop Group A with three wins out of three.
Also in the knockout phase he was essential for Italy, since they starred in two victories in the penalty shootout for the Azzurri. In the semifinal with Spain he kept his nerves as Dani Olmo and Álvaro Morata failed for La Roja.
And Donnarumma, who is currently a free agent, starred once again in the title decision by saving youngsters Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in the shooting to guide Italy to glory in the British capital.
And he was deservedly named player of the tournament after a stellar display between the clubs of Roberto Mancini’s team at UEFA Euro 2020.
UEFA EURO 2020 GOLDEN BOOT – CRISTIANO RONALDO AND PATRIK SCHICK
The Portuguese captain and his team were the defending champions, but came out unceremoniously in the round of 16 after a narrow 1-0 loss to Belgium.
But the Juventus forward did not fail to make his mark on the tournament as he made headlines for promoting water ahead of Coke off the pitch and pocketing the golden boot by scoring 5 goals in 4 games for Portugal.
In the process, he also broke or equaled a number of other records by becoming the all-time top scorer in the European Championship, beating the great Frenchman Michel Platini with the honor.
Ronaldo also equaled Ali Daei’s record of being the top scorer in international men’s football by hitting the 109-goal mark in Portugal’s draw with France in the group stage.
The other player who shares the honor of being mentioned at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo is Patrik Schick from the Czech Republic, who also scored 5 goals for the Czechs to reach the UEFA Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
He started the tournament in impressive fashion when he scored the goal of the tournament in the Czechs’ match with Scotland from the center circle and then showed in every match why he was one of the best players in the tournament.
He shone again for the Czechs in the round of 16 when they defeated tournament favorites the Netherlands, who until then had a 100% record at UEFA Euro 2020.
They eventually retired in the quarterfinals against Denmark, but Schick had a tournament to remember, as he was the top scorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, even scoring a goal when the Czechs went down fighting Denmark.
THE BEST GOALKEEPER OF THE TOURNAMENT – JORDAN PICKFORD
The boy from Merseyside captured the imagination of an entire generation as he held a record of 5 clean sheets, conceding just 2 goals in England’s UEFA Euro 2020 campaign while playing (or saving) his way to be one of the best players of the tournament. .
Interestingly, Pickford did not concede a single goal in open play at UEFA Euro 2020, only conceding a free kick in the semi-final with Denmark and a corner kick in the final with Italy.
Two great penalty saves from the standout @ JPickford1 in the shooting, but it wasn’t for @England at the end.
You guys have made us proud! 💙 # EURO2020 #CLOSELY pic.twitter.com/kscD2M6HnN
– Everton (@Everton) July 11, 2021
It also broke the record for keeping a clean sheet for England that World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks had set between May and July 1966, when the World Cup last came home.
Pickford silenced his critics as England did not concede a single goal in the group stage, finishing at the top of group D. And he was statistically the best goalkeeper in this edition of the European Championship despite the fact that Gianluigi Donnarumma received the best player. of the tournament. accolade.
He saved two penalties for England, the same number Donnarumma saved for the Azzurri, to become the first English goalkeeper to make two saves on a penalty shoot-out.
UEFA does not award the Golden Glove award at the European Championships otherwise it would surely have been one more feather in the cap for the Everton goalkeeper after a commendable and dominant performance between the Three Lions clubs that saw him be. counted as one of the best performers in the tournament