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Euro 2024 – Best XI from the tournament’s Group Stage

Following the conclusion of the Euro 2024 group stage we’ve selected our Team of the Tournament so far. While many of the big names have failed to fire so far, it’s been a tournament of overachievement and over-performance from some less heralded talents.

Here is our Best XI from the Euro 2024 Group Stage.

Goalkeeper: Giorgi Mamardashvili – Georgia

Georgia have thrived on their major tournament debut with Willy Sagnol’s side having exceeded all expectations to reach the knockout rounds. After a chaotic defeat to Turkey in their opener, Georgie regrouped to draw with the Czech Republic before beating Portugal to progress.

Giorgi Mamardashvili has been in remarkable form as the last line of defence. The Georgian goalkeeper leads the tournament for saves (21) and goals prevented (+3.5), with his 11 stops against the Czech Republic the highest in a European Championship game since 2004. On the radar of top clubs with Valencia expected to sell this summer, his stock is on the rise.

Right-back: Stefan Posch – Austria

Austria have been arguably the most watchable team in the tournament with Ralf Rangnick-ball thriving at Euro 2024. Stefan Posch symbolised the all-action energy of the Austrians, who topped a tough group containing France and the Netherlands.

The Bologna right-back ranks second for tackles made in the tournament so far, building on an excellent season at club level in which he ranked in the top five per cent of Serie A full-backs for tackles, carries, touches, passes completed and progressive passing distance per 90 minutes.

Centre-back: Pepe – Portugal

Pepe is competing in his fifth European Championship but the veteran continues to age like a fine wine. He has been named in the Team of the Tournament a joint-record three times at the Euros and has started his fifth edition in timeless fashion.

The 41-year-old ensured Portugal qualified with a game to spare and put on a masterclass in the win over Turkey, recording seven clearances, a 96.9% pass completion, and several timely interventions. Handed a well-deserved rest for the defeat to Georgia, he’ll be back marshalling the troops as Portugal enter the knockout rounds.

Centre-back: Jaka Bikol – Slovenia

An underrated presence in a Slovenia side who have proven to be a tough nut to crack. Bikol has been a dominant figure at centre-back and leads Euro 2024 for clearances (28), while just five players have managed more interceptions than the 25-year-old.

His long-range passing – honed during time as a defensive midfielder earlier in his career – has been evident with 12 completed over three games, alongside 9/14 ground duels won. The Udinese defender could be one to watch in the summer transfer window.

Left-back: Marc Cucurella – Spain

Marc Cucurella has fast become a favourite in Spain. The defender’s inclusion in the Spain squad was no certainty after a tough time at Chelsea but he has built on a strong finish to the season with a fantastic Euro 2024 to date.

His performances have been packed with tenacity and energy, with one journalist claiming ‘it looked like there were five Cucurellas out there’ after a standout showing against Italy in which the left-back won eight ground duels, five tackles, and completed 98/1% of his passes.

Midfield: Nicolas Seiwald – Austria

Marcel Sabitzer might have stolen the headlines with a goal in Austria’s win over the Netherlands, but Nicolas Seiwald has arguably been the glue of Ralf Rangnick’s impressive side. The RB Leipzig midfielder leads Euro 2024 for tackles made (13) and has been a committed, composed and combative performer at the base of the midfield.

Austria have run over teams to press sides into submission and Seiwald’s intelligent work in the engine room has allowed them to gain control.

Midfield: Toni Kroos – Germany

Toni Kroos will wave farewell to football following this tournament and there will certainly be sadness when that time comes. The 34-year-old has arguably been the player of the tournament so far, leading Euro 2024 for passes, progressive passes, and ball recoveries, and ranking in the top five for chances created.

He oozes class in the German midfield and his return from international retirement has helped Julian Nagelsmann’s team emerge as genuine contenders this summer. Success on home soil would be the perfect send-off for a great of the game.

Midfield: Fabian Ruiz – Spain

The best player in the best team of the tournament so far. Fabian Ruiz is not the biggest name in the Spain squad but the midfielder has been vital to Luis de la Fuente’s team.

Ruiz opened the tournament with a stunning solo goal in the 3-0 thrashing of Croatia, before a monstrous midfield performance against Italy in which the 28-year-old created three chances, completed 100% of his dribbles and won six ground duels. His manipulation of the ball in tight spaces is excellent, alongside an ability to carry the ball through lines.

Right-wing: Lamine Yamal – Spain

Just two years ago, Lamine Yamal was playing for Spain’s u-15 side. Now, the teenager is tearing up the European Championship at senior level.

The competition’s youngest-ever player has shown no fear in his tournament bow, providing an inch-perfect assist for Dani Carvajal in the opening fixture against Croatia and building from there.

Yamal and Nico Williams are leading a new exciting Spanish side, more direct – and entertaining – than past editions of La Roja.

Left-wing: Jamal Musiala – Germany

Jamal Musiala might just be the most watchable footballer at this summer’s finals. The Germany midfielder is a spectacle of close control and mazy footwork and ranks in the top three players for successful take-ons, progressive carries and carries into the penalty opener.

After scoring in the 5-1 win over Scotland on opening night, he broke the deadlock in the 2-0 win over Hungary as Germany booked a place in the knockout rounds. He holds the key to their hopes of success on home soil.

Forward: Georges Mikautadze – Georgia

Few would have fancied Georges Mikautadze to be leading the race for the Golden Boot as the group stage concludes. The Georgian goal-getter has scored in each of his side’s three games to date, leading their progress into the knockout rounds.

Ranked 74th in the world, it’s a brilliant story for Georgia on their first-ever major tournament appearance. Mikautadze, meanwhile, might just have a long list of suitors when the tournament ends.

Read – Iconic Performances: When Zidane left the Portuguese chasing shadows at Euro 2000

See more – Euro ’96: Germany celebrate the summer of Sammer

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