Leeds United’s midfield lynchpin Kalvin Phillips lived up to his reputation as the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ on the biggest of stages. Not only did he become an integral asset of Gareth Southgate’s side and started all seven games, he was also one of England’s best performers at Euro 2020.
The likes of Mateusz Klich and GjanniAlisoki also had similar success stories although their teams were unable to progress far. Here we’ll review Leeds United’s players’ Euro 2020 campaigns:
PLAYERS OF LEEDS UNITED WHO FEATURED AT EURO 2020
Kalvin Phillips – England
The ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ Kalvin Phillips was majestic in England’s dominant Euro 2020 run and was so close to achieving a fairytale ending at the Wembley Stadium. Ever since he set up Raheem Sterling for England’s opening goal of the tournament and won the Man of the Match award against Croatia, he attracted the close attentionof millions and ended up being a massive revelation.
With three years of tutelage under Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, Kalvin wowed everyone with his supreme fitness and was even seen pressing relentlessly in the dying moments of matches. Phillips topped the list of players that applied the most pressures at Euro 2020, registering 229 pressing actions – 78 more than the next highest (Konrad Laimer).
Having started all of England’s seven matches, Phillips also finished second among players who covered the most distance in the tournament. His 83 kms at Euro 2020 were only beaten by eventual champions Italy’s midfield talisman Jorginho’s 86.6 km.
Phillips was also the first to rush towards Bukayo Saka and comforted the 19-year-old after he missed his decisive penalty in the final.
Liam Cooper – Scotland
Liam Cooper started in Scotland’s opening fixture against the Czech Republic which ended in a 0-2 loss at the Hampden Park because of Patrik Schick’s heroics. Cooper was replaced by Kieran Tierney in the blockbuster clash against eventual runners-up England at the Wembley Stadium that ended in a goalless stalemate. Liam Cooper was also on the bench for Scotland’s final group stage fixture against Croatia. They lost the match 3-1 and were knocked out of the group stages.
Mateusz Klich – Poland
Mateusz Klich was an important part of the Polish side at Euro 2020 and he started in all three group stage fixtures. Klich operated in the centre-right of a 4-4-2 system in their disappointing 1-2 loss to Slovakia in the opening fixture and was substituted in the second half.
Klich also started against eventual semi-finalists Spain and picked up a yellow card. He was subbed off in the second half once again although the game ended in a 1-1 draw with star striker Robert Lewandowski scoring for Poland. Klich started the final group stage fixture as well which ended in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss against Sweden with Poland conceding a goal in the 94th minute!
GjanniAlioski – North Macedonia
North Macedonia became the first team to be knocked out of Euro 2020 having lost both their opening fixtures against Austria and Ukraine. Alioski was caught napping against Austria when Stefan Lainer managed to capitalize on a fantastic Sabitzer pass and buried it into the goal. They went on to lose that match 3-1.
Alioski did get on the scoresheet in the second match against Ukraine but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation as North Macedonia ended up losing 2-1. He was also yellow-carded in the final group stage fixture against The Netherlands that ended in a 0-3 defeat.
Robin Koch – Germany
Although Germany had a topsy-turvy group stage campaign and their Euro 2020 run ended with a disappointing 2-0 loss to England, Robin Koch, who had an injury-ridden season, didn’t see any minutes at the European Championship. Game-time was unlikely for Koch who had featured only once for Die Manschafft in 2021.
Tyler Roberts – Wales
Tyler Roberts did not see any action in Wales’ group stage campaign at Euro 2020. The Dragons finished second in Group A behind Italy and took on Denmark in the Round of 16 stage. Although Roberts came off the bench as a substitute in that match, it ended in a demoralising 0-4 humiliation for Wales.
Diego Llorente – Spain
Spain were one of the most exciting sides at Euro 2020 and with the help of a better and more clinical finisher, they might have even become champions of Europe. Spain’s European Championship run came to an end in the semi-final against Italy where they lost in the penalty shootouts. Diego Llorente didn’t feature in any of Spain’s matches in the competition and wasn’t included in the squad for the final group match against Slovakia.
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