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Euro 2012 - Euro 2012 Best Players

Euro 2012 Best Players


A review of the most impressive players at Euro 2012 this summer

Euro 2012 really lived up to its billing this summer with 76 goals being scored over the duration of 31 enticing matches.

And the standard overall in terms of quality was extremely high, thanks largely to the wealth of individual footballing talent on show.

There were certain players however who really dazzled on the big stage, influencing play on a consistent basis and demonstrating their class in abundance.

Italy were well beaten in the final by Spain as Andrea Pirlo failed to escape the close attentions of the Iberians who marked him out of the contest from start to finish.

But the Juventus star was simply sublime against England and Germany and has to warrant a special mention for his overall level of performance which enhanced his reputation as the best deep lying playmaker in the sport.

The Azzurri will certainly miss Pirlo’s services whenever he decides to retire, but hopefully there will still be one more major championship left in the 33-year-old who was undoubtedly the lynchpin behind Italy’s impressive run to the showpiece in Kiev.

Germany appeared to be cruising up until they faced the Italians and looked a really well-oiled unit.

But the player to really shine for Joachim Loew’s side this time was Sami Khedira who is vastly emerging as one of the best defensive midfielders in European football.

Khedira looks set to be the glue of the German team for years to come – and to boot, his goal against Greece in the quarter-finals was absolutely stunning.

Joao Moutinho turned in some excellent displays for Portugal en route to the semi-finals whilst Greek veteran Giorgos Karagounis deserves a lot of credit for leading his nation into the knockout phase at the age of 37.

But the real showstoppers unquestionably emanated from yet another victorious Spanish outfit.

Fernando Torres claimed the Golden Boot despite scoring only three goals however that could well have been a lot more had he been a regular starter for Vicente Del Bosque who on the main opted to play without a recognised front man.

Torres was extremely effective nevertheless as an impact substitute and began showing the kind of sharpness which football fans became accustomed to during his days playing for Liverpool.

Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos were rock solid in the heart of defence and naturally carried a touch of flair to accompany the more creative players within what has become a ground breaking side.

And it was Barcelona ace Andres Iniesta who really caught the eye throughout the tournament with his typical panache, control and trickery.

Iniesta’s constant mazy runs wreaked havoc amongst opposition defences and enabled Spain to get in the required areas to score goals and win matches.

His exquisite performance against Italy in the final capped off a magical tournament and he was indeed the deserved winner of the best player accolade.

Iniesta almost took on the leading role that Lionel Messi plays in the Barcelona side, but if anything, Euro 2012 proved that he has the natural quality to match the Argentine, making him an equally integral part of the success achieved by both his club and country in recent times.