These guys were supposed to be the decoration of Euro 2020, but they performed much below the level they show at the club level. Therefore, we present to you the top 10 main disappointments of the completed European Championship.
Before the start of the Euro, Foden did his hair in the style of Paul Gascoigne, who scored a miracle goal against Scotland at the European Championship in 1996. Unfortunately, Phil at Euro 2020 reminded Gazza only of his hairstyle — Southgate put the City midfielder in the base, but he looked pale and sat down on the bench in the playoffs.
In fairness, despite the fantastic selection of performers in the attack, only Kane and Sterling performed at their level in the attack of the England national team. The players were constrained by Gareth Southgate’s cautious play model, which practically eliminates penetrating passes and makes the game very sterile. Foden suffered the most from this, who at Manchester City was used to acting in exactly the opposite model. Phil opens up nicely between the lines but does not get the ball there since the English national team prefers to pass in the central circle area.
Malinovsky spent the spring period at Atalanta so powerfully that many in Italy began to call him one of the best midfielders in Serie A, and rumours about a possible transfer to Chelsea appeared on the transfer market. At the Euro, Ruslan had to confirm his status and help Ukraine better control the centre of the field. But in fact, the midfielder did not play well in the group stage matches and even sat down on the bench in 1/8.
There are several reasons. Firstly, Malinovsky has a slightly different role in the Ukrainian national team than in Atalanta. Ruslan plays closer to the centre of the field in the national team. Therefore, he should engage in martial arts more often and drag the ball forward. Perhaps this affects his productivity in attack — we have not seen his signature left-handed strikes and cutting passes in this tournament in his performance. Secondly, after the end of the Euro, Malinovsky underwent surgery to remove a hernia from his abdomen, preventing him from showing his best football.
Dias is the winner of the award for the best player of the Premier League at the end of the 2020/21 season. It seemed that at Euro 2020, he would make a killer bundle in the center of defense with the most experienced Pepe, but in fact, Portugal conceded a bunch of goals at the group stage and was already eliminated at the 1/8 step. The Portuguese allowed Hungary to score in their own goal (although the goal was cancelled due to a small offside) and conceded six goals in two matches with Germany and France. Everything was much better with Belgium, but the only shot on target was fatal for the Portuguese.
The Portuguese defence, led by Dias, looked especially miserable in the match with Germany. Kimmich and Gozens constantly opened up behind the defenders and found free zones. Ruben was rushing around as best he could, but he didn’t help in any way. So far, he has one effective action on his account — an autogall. And two more mistakes that led to goals. But, of course, not such a performance was expected from the most reliable defender of the Premier League.
Another Portuguese who failed the European Championship. In general, this is the problem of Fernando Santos — at Euro-16, he luxuriously juggled with his meagre resources, at the same tournament, he could not reveal the potential of his squad. After joining Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes quickly established himself as one of the best playmakers on the planet. It seemed that his link with Cristiano would take Portugal to a new level, but they did not have synergy on the field. In the national team, Fernandes does not have the freedom he has at the club — he has to share powers with Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota, plus he has to work much more in defence. As a result, Santos put Fernandes on the bench, preferring the more aggressive Renata Sanches to him. In general, we did not see the magic that Bruno shows at Man United at the Euro even close.
Gundogan was one of the main discoveries of last season. At Manchester City, Pep Guardiola came up with a new role for him, which revealed Ilkay as a high-quality box-to-box and a scorer who can stump the opponent’s defence with his connections. As a result, Gundogan finished the 2020/21 season in the status of the City’s top scorer, the Premier League champion and the Champions League finalist because his expectations were appropriate in the national team.
But in fact, everything turned out just awful — for all three matches in the group stage, Ilkay struck only one shot and did not make a single pass to the penalty area. The indicators in the selection were also wildly average — only 43% of the martial arts won. Moreover, Gundogan played a full match with France, 73 minutes with Portugal, 58 with Hungary, and watched the game with England from the bench. Direct proof that the midfielder failed the tournament.
In general, you can show many people at this Euro as part of the German national team. Unfortunately, Timo Werner held a frankly weak tournament. Manuel Neuer has the worst statistics of deflected strikes after Shunin. Serge Gnabry also failed, on whom great hopes were pinned before the start of the European Championship in Germany. During the entire tournament, Gnabri was not noted for practical actions and was lost on the field in absolutely all the matches he appeared. And this is even though Joachim Lev has been betting on him until the last.
Performances at the European Championships are a long-standing curse of Wojciech Szczesny. In 2012, he retired in the opening match and did not play at the tournament again. In 2016, I also played only one game. The reason is an injury. The current Euro Polish goalkeeper of Juventus will also probably try to forget as soon as possible. Szczesny conceded six goals in 3 games, practically did not help out and became the first goalkeeper in the history of the European Championship to score an autogall. Wojciech played a good match against Spain but failed in the decisive game with Sweden, which scored three and did not allow Poland to get out.
Matthijs De Light
De Light was supposed to be one of the pillars of the Dutch national team, which will have a decisive impact on the national team’s performance. But Matteis missed the start of the tournament due to injury, got in shape for the playoffs, and … sent his team home. At the beginning of the second half of the 1/8 match with the Czech national team, for some reason, he played with his hand in an unobvious episode. Russian referee Sergey Karasev decided to show the defender a red card after viewing the VAR. As a result, the Netherlands completely fell apart and sensationally flew out of the tournament.
“It feels terrible. We lost the match because of what I did. I shouldn’t have let the ball bounce on the ground,” De Ligt lamented after the game.
Carrasco is not the main star of the Belgian national team, but one of the most notable players in the championship “Atletico” and a man from whom much more was expected at Euro 2020. The Belgian winger was in all the top potential openings of the tournament, but in fact, he played only half a half against Russia and Denmark, after which he sat down on the bench and gave way to the 19-year-old Doc.
Mbappe finished the tournament in first place in terms of the number and success of strokes and entered the top ten in terms of the number of single combats in attack, strikes, and scoring attacks. And this is even though France was already eliminated at the 1/8 final stage. A logical question — and then what did Kilian forget in the top ten disappointments of the Euro?
The answer is simple — a player of this calibre is expected to perform at the highest level. And Mbappe did not cope with this task. Plus, I screwed up a killer moment in overtime with Switzerland and did not realize the decisive penalty. In general, the PSG star did not cope with the pressure. The 22-year-old Mbappe has not yet passed the exam for football maturity in the French national team, but he will have many such opportunities ahead.