So last night I posted up what the team of the tournament would look like from the Castrol Index rankings, which have now changed, and said that I would be putting out my team of the tournament at some point today. Well your wait is over and here it is.
This is my team, and the parameters I used to pick my team were simple. I picked a team of players that had impressed me enough to remember them, or had me saying, they played really well…Very simple I know. So picks may surprise you, some may not, but whether you agree or disagree I would love to know what your team would be.
So in goal I was choosing between Gigi Buffon, Casillas and Joe Hart and in the end I have opted for Joe Hart. For one reason really, he was the most worked out of them all and without him in goal, England would have been majorly worse off.
At right back I have opted for João Pereira, who, in my opinion, has been excellent for Portugal this tournament. Both going forward and in defence he has been reliable. I was also impressed with Gebre Selassie. Though he made a few mistakes, overall for a player I had not known of before the tournament I felt like he was one of the Czech’s best players.
On the other side I have again chosen a Portuguese player with Fábio Coentrão being picked ahead of Ashley Cole and Jordi Alba. Cole was again ever consistent for England, and if he had better protection in front of him England would have done better. For me though Coentrão has been amazing this tournament. Every time I have seen Portugal play he has been one of the players I have always been praising. Just the same as João Pereira
For the centre pairing I have gone for Mats Hummels of Germany and Giorgio Chiellini of Italy. Both of these defenders have been the rock of their respective countries defence. During the Euro’s I was also impressed with Michal Kadlec from the Czech Republic and Joleon Lescott. Of course the likes of Pepe, Piqué and Sergio Ramos have all been immense as well but, for me, Hummels and Chiellini get the nod. I was also impressed with Bruno Alves, but was annoyed that every time he went for a header and the opposing player didn’t he was deemed to have fouled them. I couldn’t help but think that if he was playing 10-15 years ago, he would have been regarded as one of the best defenders in the world at that time, where as now there is so much more demanded from a defender than ever before.
The central midfield pairing sees Italy’s Pirlo and Germany Khedira together and for obvious reason. Pirlo has been outstanding this tournament. His turns, faints, keep ball and distribution; he has shown as the works. He has simply been outstanding. While Khedira has been such an attacking force for Germany, much more than you see when he plays for his club, Real Madrid, you could see that he was going to get a goal against Greece as he was like a man on a mission to score that night. He has really shown for me this tournament. Other players that have done well are Marchisio, De Rossi and Xavi but for me Pirlo and Khedira have been my two favourites.
The three attacking players in front I have chosen may also surprise some. I have gone for the Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Spain’s Andreas Iniesta and finally Greece’s Dimitris Salpingidis. Now I know Salpingidis is registered as a striker, but from what I saw he played more of an attacking midfielder than an out and out striker. The heart and passion he played with, he was one of my favourite players of the tournament. I was toying with the idea of having Ukraine’s Yevhen Konoplyanka or the Czech Republic’s Petr Jiráček and Václav Pilař. Also after last nights game, Riccardo Montolivo stood out, but over the whole tournament he hasn’t done enough for me.
And finally, but by no means least, I have picked Mario Balotelli as my Striker of the tournament so far. That is mainly thanks to his display against Germany, but I have been impressed with him all tournament. The other strikers in contention for me were Mario Gomez and Mario Mandžukić. Either way there was going to be a Mario in there!
So there is my team. What do you guys make of it…? I am sure there are some players that you disagree with.