The Top 5 Performers In The Euro Cup Group Stage So Far
As expected, France (7 points) and Switzerland (5 points) from group A, and Wales (6 points) and England (5 points) from group B have qualified for the round of 16 in the Euro Cup 2016.
While the hosts were lucky to win both the games, England’s strong resistance kept them alive in the tournament. There were some late equalizers and injury time winners as the group stage is nearing its end.
Group C is still open despite the presence of World Champions Germany. A draw in their last game against Poland gave some relief to Northern Ireland and the Irish will have hopes of at least coming out with a point when they play Germany in their last group game.
Group D is relatively easy for defending champions Spain, as they are already through with two wins in two games. Czech Republic’s last game against Croatia will decide the second spot behind Spain.
Group E presented some shocking results as Italy blanked Belgium 2-0 in the opening group game last week while Belgium thrashed Ireland 3-0 in their second game. Italy has qualified with two wins in two games. Sweden have drawn one and lost one and they’ll have to beat Belgium in order to place themselves second.
Group F shows the grave consequence of depending too much on a single player. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal has to beat toppers Hungary in order to survive the group stages and avoid a shameful exit.
The group stage has produced some unlikely heroes and this is the list of the top 5 performers in the Euro Cup till now.
1. Bogdan Stancu – Romania
The Romanian has scored two goals already in 3 games, incidentally both coming from the spot as only two penalties have been awarded so far in the tournament. He is now the first player since Gazieka Mendieta in 2000 to score multiple spot-kicks in a UEFA Euro.
Though his efforts will go in vain if Romania doesn’t qualify for the next stage considering they lost 2-1 to France and a 1-1 draw against Switzerland.
2. Alvaro Morata – Spain
The Spaniard known for his streamlined running and hunger to chase the ball has done brilliantly in the tournament with an almost complete performance against Turkey.
Morata scored a brace against Turkey, demolishing them 3-0 in the process. His passing has been point accurate and he stood out in a team comprising 11 Champions. Spain eased to the next round with two wins out of two.
3. Aaron Ramsey – Wales
Now an ex-gunner, Ramsey has played the perfect wingman to Gareth Bale delivering two assists and scoring one in their 3-0 win over Russia.
The Welshman has been a consistent performer in all the three group games, thus Wales are at the top spot ahead of rivals England.
4 Dimitri Payet – France
The West Ham midfielder grabbed eyeballs when he scored a beautiful curler to win the opening game 2-1 against Romania.
He was the best player on the pitch and received the man of the match award in the first game of the Euro 2016.
A last gasp effort against the Albanians in their second game secured all 3 points with Griezmann scoring a 90 minute header followed by a strike from Payet to shatter Albania’s dreams.
Two goals in helpless situations like these make him the most valuable French player in the tournament.
5. Gareth Bale – Wales
The Real Madrid man helped Wales qualify for the tournament with his solo effort.
His amazing free-kick in the opening game gave them the lead against Slovakia. Robson Kanu’s winner fortunately won them the game. Bale was back to his usual self, proving a point against rivals England and scoring another free-kick and this time Joe Hart on the receiving end. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the final group game, Wales thrashed Russia 3-0, and Bale scored the final goal in the 67th minute. He is now the top scorer of the Euro 2016 and leads his team into the next round.
Written by Sparsh Mudgal of MensXP0