Star players of Euro 2012
Published: 09.06.12 / Written by: David Gold
Euro 2012 is just around the corner, and with so many top players set to compete, eyes are turning to whom might be the best players of the tournament.
The most obvious stars are in the squads of the three tournament favourites.
The Netherlands are packed with stars, including Wesley Sneijder, integral as they reached the final of the World Cup in 2010. Along with Arjen Robben, he provides thrust and skill from midfield. The two of them will cause defences sleepless nights in the next few weeks. Kevin Strootman will be a lesser known talent performing for the Dutch, and he could be a potential star of the tournament, whilst Klass Jan Huntelaar is more prolific for the Netherlands than Robin van Persie, the Premier League top scorer last year.
Among the Germans, they boast a host of attacking talent. There is Mario Gotze, one of the brightest prospects in Europe and a superb attacking midfielder who has starred for Borussia Dortmund in the last two seasons. Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid will also provide skill and creativity going forward, whilst the trusted and tried duo of Lukasz Podolski and Miroslav Klose should ensure Germany are among the goals.
Spain come into the tournament without David Villa, but his absence means Alvaro Negredo can show his goalscoring prowess. Jesus Navas and Pedro could also be key as Vincente del Bosque looks for alternative sources of goals. This could also be the tournament in which Cesc Fabregas finally gets a starting spot, and having shone in the last two major competitions, he could be the star of the entire tournament. Andres Iniesta and Xavi will be expected to showcase their usual brilliance too.
Other players who will light up the Euros include Denmark’s Cristian Eriksen, one of the best attacking midfielders on the continent. The Ajax man can drive at defences and play eye of a needle passes for the Denmark attack. Poland will hope that Robert Lewandowski can continue his brilliant goalscoring form for Dortmund, whilst Russia will look to Alan Dzagoev to have a similar impact this year that Andrei Arshavin had in 2008. Italy come into the tournament in poor form but they have some excellent players capable of showing their class. Antonio di Natale has often been overlooked by his country but may finally have the chance to show what they have missed. And Italy have one of the best central midfield partnerships in Europe in Juventus duo Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo.
England come into the tournament knowing star man Wayne Rooney is out for the first two games of the competition but they have other talented players who can show their class. Ashley Young has been one of their best players in recent times, whilst Theo Walcott on his day can be a nightmare for any defence. And in his team mate Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, England have stars of the future who can guide them through the group stage. Then there is Sweden’s Rasmus Elm, one of a number of talented midfielders who could light up this tournament.
All in all, there are so many players with such talent, and that is what makes the Euros so exciting. There is no place for an also ran.