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Ryan Ross On July - 7 - 2012

Euro 2012: Team of the Tournament

Ryan Ross’s Team of the Euro’s


Iker Casillas

Casillas displayed some game deciding moments and twinned with great composure throughout the competition he definitely was the pillar for Spain during their quest for a third successive tournament win. Although La Roja’s defence was hard to break down, their Real Madrid keeper was prepared to make the match winning save. Ever reliant, it seemed only right the final was Casillas’ 100th win at international level.


Joao Pereira

In a competition which witnessed a dearth of outstanding right backs, Pereira was dominant for Portugal. He provided width in attack and linked well with Nani on the right. Displaying  a strong defensive side to his game too.

Gerard Pique

Perhaps Spain’s most glamorous player, Pique rebounded from a disappointing domestic season. Comfortable playing the ball out of defence and a major reason why Spain only conceded a solitary goal all tournament.

Daniel Agger

In Denmark’s opening win over Holland, Agger snuffed out the threat of the Dutch attack and led the line brilliantly. A regular threat at set-pieces, the Danes will rue being drawn in the ‘Group of Death.’  Agger captained his country admirably and serves a place in this ultimate Euro eleven.

Jordi Alba

Taking over from Joan Capdevilla as Spain’s first-choice left-back, Alba slotted in with ease. His goal in the final conveyed his composure in possession, but also his work-rate which is key to his game. Full of energy, Alba was able to sprint down Spain’s left to link with the attack. Alba’s form has helped earn him a transfer to FC Barcelona.


Andrea Pirlo

Crucial in Italy’s run to the final, Pirlo’s passing game to the fore. Aided by Prandelli’s rotation of the midfield, Pirlo found the space to dictate play and open opponents up. The highlight came in the quarter-final against England where Pirlo completed 131 passes, with 88% accuracy.

Claudio Marchisio

Another standout performer from Italy’s midfield, Marchisio remained calm in possession and probed to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses. Undervalued by many, Marchisio was just as important to Italy’s success as Pirlo.

Andres Iniesta

Iniesta won player of the tournament and was the spark to ignite Spain’s new-look formation. His vision, combined with guile, resulted in several lessons in pass-and-move. Iniesta defines tiki-taka.


Cristiano Ronaldo

At first it seemed Cristiano Ronaldo would be unable to carry forward his domestic form into the tournament something Portuguese fans have seen all too often.  And it wasn’t until Portugal’s final group match against Holland that Ronaldo did in fact arrive for country.  Scoring twice against the Dutch, the Madrid hitman stormed into the semi-finals after providing an additional matching winning goal against the Czech Republic in Portugal’s Quarter-final meeting.

Mario Balotelli

Euro 2012 will be remembered for the arrival of Mario Balotelli on the international stage. The Manchester City striker scored first against Croatia to help Italy reach the knock-out stages. Balotelli then followed this by scoring a brace against Germany in the semi-final, which wowed the world. Well managed by his manager, Balotelli was by far the best striker in Poland and Ukraine.

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas shone in the final, laying on the opening goal for David Silva as Spain went on to a famous 4-0 victory. The Barcelona star shone in the ‘false-nine role,’ edging out Fernando Torres from the starting eleven. Fabregas rewarded Del Bosque’s faith with several great displays. The highlight came when Fabregas scored the winning penalty in the shoot-out with England.


Ryan Ross

I became enthralled with Calcio back in the 90’s, when James Richardson presented Football Italia. My early mornings were spent following the trials and tribulations of Internazionale, during a period where they always flattered to deceive. It took a Frenchman to get me hooked though; Youri Djorkaeff, my favourite player of all time. This guy was key to Inter’s midfield, never mind his role in France’s World Cup win in 1998! I have a keen interest in Calcio’s rich history.

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