Spain stars Fabian Ruiz & Ceballos lead Under-21 Euros Team of the Tournament

Comments (0)
Waldschmidt Fabian Chiesa
Unsurprisingly, the victorious Rojita are well represented in our all-star selection, after Sunday's 2-1 victory over defending champions Germany
  1. GK: Antonio Sivera (Spain)

    GK: Antonio Sivera (Spain)

    Spain's creative players may have dominated the headlines during their Under-21 Euros triumph but Antonio Sivera played a key role in their success.

    Indeed, no goalkeeper had a better save percentage (78.6) than the Alaves ace, who also came up with a crucial save from Jean-Phillippe Mateta when La Rojita were 1-0 down to France in the semi-finals.

  2. RB: Cristian Manea (Romania)

    RB: Cristian Manea (Romania)

    Martin Aguirregabiria and Lukas Klostermann had excellent tournaments for Spain and Germany, respectively, but the best right-back on show was Cristian Manea.

    The dynamic 21-year-old defender was integral to Romania's remarkable run to the semi-finals. No player won more tackles (13) while Manea – who also chipped in with an assist – made the most interceptions (12) in the entire tournament.

  3. CB: Dayot Upamecano (France)

    CB: Dayot Upamecano (France)

    France may have been ultimately taken apart by Spain in the semi-finals but Dayot Upamecano was colossal during the group stages, when Les Espoirs conceded just one goal.

    No other defender made as many recoveries (35), won as many aerials (11) or reclaimed possession (35) as many times as the 20-year-old from RB Leipzig, who impressed all and sundry with his physique, technique and reading of the game.

  4. CB: Jonathan Tah (Germany)

    CB: Jonathan Tah (Germany)

    Germany boss Stefan Kuntz should be very grateful to senior coach Joachim Low for the release of Jonathan Tah, who linked up with the U21s shortly after playing all 90 minutes of his nation's Euro 2020 qualifying win over Belarus on June 8.

    The Bayer Leverkusen centre-half proved a predictably pivotal player in Italy, showcasing not only his many attributes as a defender but also his leadership, communication and organisational skills.

  5. LB: Benjamin Henrichs (Germany)

    LB: Benjamin Henrichs (Germany)

    Like Tah, Benjamin Henrichs ended up on the losing side in the final but, just like his skipper, the Monaco starlet should be immensely proud of his campaign, which yielded a tournament-high 12 successful tackles, level with Manea.

    Despite being right-footed, he excelled when deployed on the left flank and it is no coincidence that Germany were at their most vulnerable defensively when he was serving a one-game suspension in the semi-finals.

  6. CM: Fabian Ruiz (Spain)

    CM: Fabian Ruiz (Spain)

    It was hardly surprising that Fabian Ruiz felt right at home in Italy, given he plays his football at Napoli, but the Spain midfielder still outdid himself at the Euros, with his blend of industry and innovation rightfully earning him the player of the tournament award.

    As well as scoring twice, in the decisive group-stage demolition of Poland and the 2-1 victory over Germany in the final, he also contributed two assists, one of which was a delightful no-look pass to Dani Olmo in the last-four win over France.

  7. CM: Mahmoud Dahoud (Germany)

    CM: Mahmoud Dahoud (Germany)

    A player long touted as one of Germany's most promising young players, Mahmoud Dahoud is perhaps finally ready, at 23, to realise his potential.

    The Borussia Dortmund midfielder certainly looked the part in Italy, registering a goal and assist, as well as creating 11 chances. Only Dani Ceballos and Luca Waldschmidt racked up more.

  8. AM: Dani Ceballos (Spain)

    AM: Dani Ceballos (Spain)

    Dani Ceballos may not have waltzed away with the Golden Player award this time around but the classy Spanish attacking midfielder once again underlined his outrageous talent with a string of scintillating performances.

    Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane no longer wants him at the Santiago Bernabeu but many other coaches across Europe will now be hoping to land the former Betis man.

    He created more chances than any other player (14), resulting in two assists, while he also contributed two goals, including a stunner on matchday one against Italy.

  9. RW: Dani Olmo (Spain)

    RW: Dani Olmo (Spain)

    Dinamo Zagreb winger Dani Olmo didn't start the tournament in the Spain XI but he finished it as one of his nation's most important players.

    The former Barcelona youth-team player scored three goals, including a delightful dinked finish during a man of the match-winning performance in the final, while his pace and trickery will surely have attracted the interest of a number of top clubs in the Dinamo Zagreb starlet.

  10. CF: Luca Waldschmidt (Germany)

    CF: Luca Waldschmidt (Germany)

    There was very little hype surrounding Luca Waldschmidt before the U21 Euros began – even among Germany fans and journalists – but all that has changed now, after a tournament in which he scored a record-equalling seven goals and claimed three man of the match awards.

    The Freiburg forward impressed not only with his lethal finishing – and hammer of a left foot – but also his all-round play, as underlined by his tally of 12 chances created.

  11. LW: Federico Chiesa (Italy)

    LW: Federico Chiesa (Italy)

    The only player in our selection not to have made the knockout stage but one that we just could not leave out, so impressive were his performances for Italy.

    Federico Chiesa came into the tournament at the centre of transfer speculation and such talk only intensified after three goals in three barnstorming appearances from the Fiorentina winger, who proved pretty much unplayable in the opening-day win over Spain.