Round 3 of the Euro 2020 was the deciding round for all the teams in the competition and the teams needed their biggest stars to step up in these matches. Players like England’s Bukayo Saka did step up in their respective matches to take their nations to the knockout stage of the competition.
There were plenty of top-class performances in this ultimate group-stage round and we’ve picked the best of the lot. Here are eleven players who we believe delivered in the previous matchweek of Euro 2020.
GOALKEEPER: JORDAN PICKFORD (ENGLAND)
England are yet to concede a goal in Euro 2020 and their shot-stopper Jordan Pickford is one of the primary reasons for that. Pickford has been England’s standout player in the competition so far and has made some marvellous saves. He was good again against the Czech Republic and kept yet another clean sheet.
LEFT-BACK: DAVID ALABA (AUSTRIA)
David Alaba is Austria’s best player in Euro 2020 and so far the Austrian captain has delivered for his side. Alaba can play at plenty of positions on the field but was fielded at left-back in the previous match against Ukraine. He was one of the best players on the field in that game and made it to our best XI at left-back.
CENTRE-BACK: AYMERIC LAPORTE (SPAIN)
Spain’s head coach surprised everyone when he announced Aymeric Laporte in his squad for the European Championship instead of Spanish legend Sergio Ramos. The Manchester City centre-half hadn’t played for Spain before the tournament but is one of the key players in the team now. He netted his first goal for his nation in the match against Slovakia and helped Spain progress to the next round.
CENTRE-BACK: ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN (DENMARK)
Andreas Christensen was another defender who got on the scoresheet in this matchweek as Denmark breezed past Russia with a 1-4 win. Denmark had a tough start to the tournament given what happened to Christen Eriksen in their opening match. Christensen has been one of their standout players in the competition so far and together they have progressed to the Round of 16 deservedly.
RIGHT-BACK: KYLE WALKER (ENGLAND)
Gareth Southgate is spoilt for choices when it comes to the right-back position and so far in the tournament, he has rotated them pretty well. In their final group match against the Czech Republic, he started Kyle Walker at right-back and he didn’t disappoint. Walker is one of the most experienced defenders in the squad and would be an integral part of the team going forward in the knockout stage.
CENTRE MIDFIELD: LUKA MODRIC (CROATIA)
Luka Modric is one of the best midfielders in Euro 2020 without a doubt and he showed his class in the final matchday of the group stage. Modric was fielded further up the pitch in the game against Scotland and it paid dividends for the team as Modric got on the scoresheet and Croatia beat Scotland 3-1.
CENTRE MIDFIELD: GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (NETHERLANDS)
Georginio Wijnaldum has by far been one of the standout players in the competition and has led the Dutch side charismatically in the absence of their regular captain Virgil van Dijk. Wijnaldum has got the freedom to play as a number 10 in this side and the midfielder hasn’t disappointed. He scored another brace in the match against North Macedonia as the Netherlands continued their unbeaten run in Euro 2020.
ATTACKING MIDFIELD: XHERDAN SHAQIRI (SWITZERLAND)
Switzerland always banks on Xherdan Shaqiri to come good at the world stage and the Liverpool player rarely fails. He is the key to this Swiss side doing well in this competition as witnessed in the 3-1 win over Turkey where Shaqiri found the back of the net twice.
LEFT-WING: EMIL FORSBERG (SWEDEN)
One of the stories of the competition has been Emil Forsberg’s form for Sweden. The winger is the competition’s joint second-highest goalscorer and his brace in one of the most exciting matches of the competition against Poland helped Sweden progress to the next round.
STRIKER: ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI (POLAND)
Robert Lewandowski is easily the most complete striker in Euro 2020 but unfortunately for the Polish striker, he doesn’t have the same quality with him in this squad. Poland failed to win even a single game in the group stage but Lewandowski did his part by netting twice in their last match against Sweden.
RIGHT-WING: BUKAYO SAKA (ENGLAND)
Finally, we have a surprising name in the XI, which is England’s Bukayo Saka. The English winger was outstanding in their win over the Czech Republic and deservedly won the Man of the Match award in this game. The way Saka performed in this game it would be pretty difficult for Southgate to drop him for the next match.
Euro 2020 Round 3 Best XI: Jordan Pickford (GK); David Alaba, Andreas Christensen, Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker; Luka Modric, Georginio Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri; Emil Forsberg, Robert Lewandowski, Bukayo Saka