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Fri 25 June 2021 | 16:30

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage

A look at the first two weeks of this year's European Championships to see who are the Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage.

The group stage of the

Euro 2020

finished Wednesday night and now the best teams have reached the last 16. There were no surprises and all the favorites managed to qualify for the next round. Although, the likes of Germany, Portugal and Spain had to sweat it out on the field go guarantee themselves a place among the best 16 teams of the tournament.

Netherlands, Belgium and Italy have had an easier qualification and have shown the best football so far. England and France also topped their groups, but their performances have risen questions about their chances of winning the title.

Hungary was without a doubt the best team among the underdogs. They forced Germany and France into hard-fought draws and were agonizingly close to securing a historic qualification in their game against Germany. Northern Macedonia was also impressive in their first ever participation in a major international tournament.

Denmark was the most followed team of Euro 2020 as they experienced the worst possible nightmare and a fairy tale in a span of ten days. First their talisman, 

Christian Eriksen

suffered a heart-attack on the field and then his recovery inspired them to a last-gasp qualification to the last 16.

Many of the biggest European players are present in this year's European Championships. Some of them played to their potentials and some were surprisingly in a bad form. Cristiano Ronaldo once again showed that aging is no issue for him with 5 goals and 1 assist in 3 tough games against France, Hungary and Germany.

Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne of Belgium, Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong and Gini Wijnaldum of Netherlands, Immobile and Locatelli of Italy, Patrick Schick of Czech, Luka Modric of Croatia, Jordi Alba of Spain and Emil Forsberg of Sweden were some of the best players of the tournament so far.

Robert Lewandowsky scored 3 goals in as many games for Poland, but his goals were not enough to secure qualification for the Poland side which was defensively a disaster. The Bayern Munich goal-scoring machine is the only superstar who will have to go home early as the other ones have all qualified from the group stage.

Contrary to the expectations of fans and critics worldwide, some of the other European stars have been on a very bad form in this year's European Championships. Above them all is Tottenham's free scoring striker, Harry Kane who has been a shadow of himself so far. Bruno Fernandez and Diogo Jota of Portugal and Alvaro Morata of Spain have also faced heavy criticism for their lackluster performances.

Among the young talents, Denzel Dumfries of Netherlands has been one of the stars of the tournament so far, while the likes of Bukayo Saka of England and

Pedri Gonzalez

of Spain have also been praised for their performances. In the following article we will go into more details to determine the

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage

.

Who are the Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage?

A detailed look at the performances of the teams and players in the first two weeks of this year's European Championships to determine the winners of losers of Euro 2020 group stage.

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage: The Teams

First we will have a look at the winners and losers list among the favorites and then we will move to the underdog's category.

Among the Favorites

Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and England were considered as the main title challengers before the tournament. All of them qualified for the last 16. Some have been as expected and some others have disappointed their fans. We start our articles on the Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage with selecting the best and worst among the favorites.

Winners

:

Italy

Roberto Mancini's players have produced the best football of the tournament so far. They won all their games, were the first team to qualify to the last 16 and won the heart of the football fans with their passion and collective spirit.

Skeptics will argue that the Nerazzuri had a much easier group, comparing to other favorites. But they can deny the fact that

Italy

has been amazing both at defense and offense and is now considered the main title challenger. They are on a historic run of 30 games without a defeat and have not concede a single goal in their last 10 games. Italy has a tough road in the knockout stages. They will face the winner of the game between Belgium and Portugal if they can get past Switzerland in the last 16.

Netherlands

Few expected

Netherlands

to shine in this tournament, given the fact that they were poor since the departure of their successful coach, Ronald Koeman and the appointment of Frank De Boer as his successor. However, Netherlands have played the best football of Euro 2020 alongside Italy.

The Oranges see off the challenge of Ukraine by a late 3-2 win before beating Austria (2-0) and North Macedonia (3-0) more easily. They have been praised for their eye-catching attacking performances and now have a rather easy road to the semis. With 8 goals scored in 3 matches, they have the best attacking stats in the competition. If they beat Czech Republic in the last 16, they will face the winner of the game between Wales and Denmark in the last 8. 

Belgium

Another favorite which has been performing up to the expectations,

Belgium

is the third side alongside Italy and Netherlands with a hundred percent record. They won all of their group games against Russia (3-0), Denmark (2-1) and Finland (2-0). They have the second best goal scoring record (Behind Netherlands) and the second best defensive record (Behind Italy).

Roberto Martinez players will have to beat the defending champions, Portugal in the last 16 if they want to continue dreaming of winning the title. If they can eliminate Cristiano Ronaldo and cos, a possible mouthwatering clash against Italy in the last 8 will awaits them.

Losers:

England

The Three Lions topped their group with 7 points from three games and did not concede a single goal, yet their performances have been so dull and disappointing. England's coach, Gareth Southgate has been under heavy criticism especially for his team selection and England's lack of cutting edge in the final third. They have scored only 2 goals which is a very poor record, considering the quality of their attacking players. It is to be seen if he can turn things around and guide his team into the latter stages of the tournament.

England

have the most difficult task among the favorites as they will have to beat Germany in the last 16. A win against their longtime foes will give them a huge boost in the next round as they will be facing the winner of the game between Sweden and Ukraine.

Spain

La Roja came into the tournament as one of the best teams in Europe, having beaten mighty Germans 6-1 back in October 2020, However, Luis Enrique players have been one of the worst teams among the favorites and needed a win in their last group game against Slovakia to qualify.

Spain

had to deal with the unfortunate absence of their captain, Sergio Bouquets because of a positive Covis-19 test and struggled to play their game in his absence. The Barcelona midfielder came back in the starting line-up for their decider and guided his team past the Slovakians with an emphatic 5-0 win.

Spain will face the tough test of Croatia in the last 16. Their path will not get easier if they win as they will face the winner of France vs. Switzerland in the last 8.

Germany

Germany

has been one of the most unstable teams among the favorites of Euro 2020. They started their campaign with a 1-0 defeat against France, then humiliated Portugal with a mesmerizing performance and a 4-2 win. However, Joachim Low and his players were on the verge of an embarrassing elimination in their last group game against Hungary before a late late goal from Leon Goretzka saved the day for them.

Germany has been a disaster defensively. They have conceded 6 goals and have been shaky in decisive moments of each of their games. If they cannot fix the holes in their defense line, they will have an arduous task against England in the last 16 stage of Euro 2020.

Among the Underdogs

We continue our article on the

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage

with an analysis of the best and worst teams among the dark horses.

Winners

:

Hungary

No one, not even the Hungarian fans expected much from the

Hungary

side which was drawn in the group death of the Euro 2020 alongside Portugal, France and Germany. Still, they turned out to be the most inspiring dark horses of the tournament, after forcing Portugal to sweat for the three points and causing havoc in the French and Germany camps with two draws.

In fact, they were ten minutes away from eliminating Germany in the final game of the group stage, but they conceded an equalizer and instead went home as heroes.

North Macedonia

Their Scenario was much like the Hungarians as few expected them to shine in their first ever experience in a major tournament, and yet, it is what

Guran Pandev

and his team mates exactly did with three spirited performances against Austria, Ukraine and the Netherlands. They failed to win any of their games, but they won the hearts of the football fans from all around the world.

Denmark

The Danes

have had the most extraordinary experience in Euro 2020. First they faced horror when their best player, Inter Milan's Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in the middle of their opener because of a heart attack. They went right back into the game as soon as they were sure their team mate has survived and lost the game after missing a penalty.

They were brilliant against Belgium and almost got a point before Kevin de Bruyne turned the game on his head with a goal and an assists. That did not hamper their spirit though, and they came out strong in their final game and thrashed Russia 3-0 to secure a memorable qualification. How far will their fairy-tale continue? That’s on everybody's mind.

Losers

:

Turkey

Turkey

were without a doubt the worst team of Euro 2020. There were horrendous in defense, and had no spark going forward. They lacked spirit and suffered three heavy defeats against Italy, Wales and Switzerland. With 8 goals conceded, they registered the worst defensive record of the competition. In fact, had it not been for Hakan's beautiful goal in the final minutes of their final game, they would have left the tournament without even scoring a single goal. Surely An experience to forget for the Turks.

Scotland

The Scotts

stayed true to their tradition of never qualifying from the group stage, but at least they produced good performances. They were unlucky to lose 2-0 in their opener against The Czechs, and fought hard against England to earn a point. But a very bad performance in their final game, a 3-1 defeat against Croatia costed them their chance to make history and qualify for the knock-out stage.

Poland

Just the fact that Poland had the on form striker,

Robert Lewandowsky

scoring three times for them and still somehow managed to finish last in their group explains the best why they are included in the losers side. The Whites were shaky at defense and threw away leads easily, especially in their deciding final game against Sweden, which they lost 3-2.

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage: The players

In the second part of SportMob's article on the

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage

we will look at the performances of the best and worst players of the tournament in every position.

Goalkeepers

Winners

:

Gianluigi Donnarumma

(Italy) and Jordan Pickford (England) were the only goalkeepers with a hundred percent clean sheet, while Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) and Unai Simon (Spain) conceded only once. Ugurcan Cakır (Turkey) and Dimitrievski (North Macedonia) conceded the most goals among the goalkeepers (8), but they also had the most number of saves with 18 and 14 respectively. Danny Ward (Wales) and Gulaci (Hungary) were also brilliant and produced some memorable performances.

Losers

:

Martin Dubravka (Slovakia) scored the most horrendous own-goal of the tournament and was exposed five times against Spain. Victor Szczęsny (Poland) was poor in all of the three games and his errors had an effect on his team's elimination. Manuel Neuer (Germany) was uncharacteristically error prone and made too many mistakes, including an absolute howler in Hungary's second goal.

Defenders

Winners

:

Simon Kjaer

(Denmark) stole the heart of every fan by first handling Christian Eriksson's scary situation and then by guiding his team to a memorable qualification. Luis Saka (England) has been the most eye-catching youngster in the England's squad, just the same as Jordi Alba and Denzel Dumfries have been for Spain and the Netherlands. David Alaba (Austria) has also been amazing with two world-class assists, which have made the Real Madrid fans happy and excited for his arrival.

Losers

:

Ruben Dias (Portugal) was supposed to be a wall in the defence for the defending champions, but he has shown no sign of the defender who won has just won the Best Premier League player of the season award. His partner in crime, Nelson Semedo has also been below-par and was completely exposed against Germany. Matt Hummels return to the Germany national team was supposed to be a dream, but he has been nowhere near his best so far. And finally, Raphael Varane (France) form has revealed little on why Real Madrid has rewarded him with a contract extension

Midfielders

Winners

:

Frenkie De Jong

and Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands) have the driving force for the entertaining Dutch side, the same role Emil Forsberg's has had with Sweden. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has caught everyone's eyes with 3 assists and amazing displays while the evergreen Luka Modric (Croatia) has defied age with some masterful performances. Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium) recovered in time for his team's hard test against Denmark and showed why he is considered among the favorites for this year's Ballon d'Or with an out of worldly assist and a super goal. Finally, Paul Pogba (France) has shown once again why he is considered among the best in the world.

Losers

:

Many could make the list but Bruno Fernandez (Portugal) and Leroy Sane (Germany) have been the biggest disappointing midfield stars in Euro 2020 so far. Fernandez was so bad that he left his manager with no choice but to sit him on the bench for their third game against France. While Leroy Sane was so wasteful in attack and his misses costed Germany a place in the easier side of the knock-out stages.

Forwards

Winners:

Cristiano Ronaldo

(Portugal) has been on his GOAT status so far, winning the award for the best player of the Euro 2020 group stage with 5 goals and 1 assist in 3 games. Moreover, he equaled Ali Daei's long standing record for most international goal with 109. His rival in Serie A, Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) has also been superb with three goals.

Many questioned Southgate's decision to play Rahim Sterling (England) as a starter but he showed great self-confidence by scoring both of his team's two goals in the group stage. Ciro Immobile (Italy) is another veteran who has been superb in the Euros with 2 goals in three matches, while Patrick Schick (Czech) has been mesmerizing with three goals, one of them surely will be the best goal of Euro 2020.

Losers:

Who else could make the list but

Alvaro Morata

? The Juventus striker was so wasteful in the opener against Sweden that the entire of Spain team had to publicly back him up? However, even the support did not change anything as Morata continued to miss sitters, including a penalty against Slovakia.

Another candidate among the forwards is England's Harry Kane who has been unrecognizable in all of England's three games. He has failed to produce any spark and is yet to score a goal in the tournament. And finally, Diogo Jota (Portugal) has also been quite the opposite of what everyone was expecting with three woeful performances.

So here you had it! A complete list of the

Winners and losers from the Euro 2020 group stage

. Do you agree with our choices? Any team or player you want to add to our list? Let us know in the comments.

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