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Euro 2020 surprising top performers

Mon 28 June 2021 | 14:29

As the 2020 UEFA European Championship group stage is having concluded, it has not fallen short to fill us with great consternation and surprise so far. In this regard, we have provided a fascinating insight into Euro 2020 surprising top performers.

While heightened expectations for stellar performances of world football's biggest names have been rather realized at the Euro 2020, there are also some little-known players who showcased standout displays without even being expected to set the competition alight.

With the reliance on the element of surprise, they often lead their teams on the brink of success, while fans can't get enough of their spectacular performances.

But right from the onset, let's indicate the term "surprise performers" in inverted commas in as much as we don't necessarily mean that any player who has been listed here had a worse performance in his previous results before Euro 2020. Not in any sense of the word.

But instead, some players in this list have exemplified their performance in such a way that they were not supposed to do so. Just take Robin Gosens as an example; unprecedented for a defender, he racked up one goal and two assists at Euro 2020.

Or even consider Lukas Hradecky who became a supreme adorable goalkeeper at the tournament despite not being a striker so as to make up our list of the top performers from each position in Euro 2020.

Euro 2020 surprising top performers

Here we have picked up just 13 of Euro 2020's surprise performers who have managed to particularly win our hearts.

Leonardo Spinazzola

Being regarded as a quick, versatile, and offensive-minded player in January 2020, he was on the verge of a transfer move to Inter Milan but it was revealed that Spinazzola's physical condition was not that that much desirable for Inter.

But on the international stage in June 2021, he was a member of

Italy

's squad for UEFA Euro 2020 and became one of

Euro 2020 surprising top performers

.

On 11 June In the opening match of the tournament, in a 3–0 win over Turkey, he was honoured to become the man of the match by UEFA on the ground of his spectacular performance, in which he was credited with an assist on his side second goal after his parried shot was scored by Ciro Immobile off the rebound.

Likewise, on 26 June, he provided an assist in the opening goal netted by

Federico Chiesa

in extra-time on an eventual 2–1 victory over Austria in the round of 16. Besides, he later contributed to the match-winning goal put away by Matteo Pessin.

Therefore because of performing in such a flourishing way, once more time he was named man of the match in the tournament by UEFA.

Stefan Lainer

As a right-back who currently plays for the club Borussia Mönchengladbach, he made a total of 45 appearances in Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League competitions and racked up just 2 goals and six assists in 2020-21 season.

But he managed to make a feat at Euro 2020 so as to be enlisted among

13 of Euro 2020's surprise performers

. He flourishingly opened the scoring in

Austria

's first Euro 2020 2-1 victory over North Macedonia in the 18 minutes and with his celebration, he sent a message to Eriksen, who collapsed in Denmark's opening match of Euro 2020 against Finland.

He also appeared in 4 matches of the tournament and has recovered 27 balls so far becoming one of Euro 2020's best performers.

Lukas Hradecky

In the

list of our top performers from each position in euro 2020

, Lukáš Hrádecký has a special place; in so far as he is a Finnish goalkeeper who currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen. He was in the starting line-up in all previous 29 games of the 2020-21 season winning 13 games with his club.

On the international stage, he earned over 60 caps for his country, while he featured in nine out of ten of Finland's UEFA Euro 2020 qualification games and led his side securing its first-ever appearance at the UEFA European Championship.

As

Finland

defeated Belarus 2-0 at Euro 2020, he turned out to be a supreme goalkeeper whom fans could not get enough of his brilliant performance.

He has a record of 14 Saves in the tournament until now while participated in 3 matches and conceded 3 goals in the campaign, being widely revered as one of the top performers from each position in Euro 2020.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

While currently playing for Spurs, he made the most appearances ever by a player in the 2020–21 season (3420 minutes. At Euro 2020, he is among the Danish squad and is being regarded as one of

Euro 2020 surprising top performers.

In the opening match of the tournament in a 1–0 defeat to Finland, although he missed a penalty; he compensated later as he showed an especially classy and determined display featuring the full 90 minutes, as his side cruised into the quarter-finals of the competition.

So he made

Tottenham

fans suffused with gratefulness for his notable performance in Denmark’s 4-0 victory over Wales at Euro 2020, as he also managed to provide a total of 3 assists in the tournament.

Manuel Locatelli

While he currently plays for

Sassuolo

at the club level, on the international stage he is among 13 of Euro 2020's surprise performers by now.

On 28 March 2021, he put away his first goal for Italy, which was the second goal of a 2–0 away triumph over Bulgaria in a 2022 World Cup qualification match.

As he was added to Italy's squad for UEFA Euro 2020 by manager Roberto Mancini, he managed to put away two goals in Italy's second group stage match, in a 3–0 victory over Switzerland earning one star of the match award for his feat.

Simon Kjaer

While he currently plays for

Milan

at club level, he put away his first goal for them in a 1–1 away draw against Manchester United in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 tie.

On the International stage, it is notable to suggest that on 14 October 2020, he earned his 100th cap for Denmark in a 1–0 away victory over England.

He is an integral part of Euro 2020 surprising top performers for the sake of showing outstanding leadership in captaining his side in UEFA Euro 2020.

He portrayed how he is in command of himself in the face of difficulties as on 12 June in their opening match against Finland, when Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch, he was the first one to help him and informed the medical team as quickly as possible.

Then afterwards he helped him a lot in other ways as his efforts eventually ended up saving Eriksen's life. Moreover, he appeared in 4 matches of his side and recovered 27 balls for them as well.

Emil Forsberg

For his club RB Leipzig, on 4 November 2020, he managed to score a goal in a 2–1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League. On the international stage, at Euro 2020, with the absence of

Zlatan

, he has become the new leader of his side in midfield.

His imagination and perseverance, saw him perform a decent game in the goalless draw against Spain while he was rewarded for his efforts as well when he scored the winning penalty against Slovakia.

In the tournament, he totally scored three goals during the three games he took part in, becoming one of Euro 2020 surprising top performers.

Roman Yaremchuk

As he currently plays for Gent at club level and although he underwent an injury in the 2020 season, the blend of his physicality and two-footedness has made him become a breakout star and a goalscoring threat at Euro 2020.

In the tournament, he scored with an incredible headed equaliser in the opening group-stage game of

Ukraine

against the Netherlands, that was ended up with their 3-2 defeat.

Afterwards, he succeeded to finish expertly in the 2-1 victory over North Macedonia to give his side a chance at going through the knockout stages. Besides, he totally participated in three games of the tournament while he racked up two goals and one assist for them.

Being such a Euro 2020 surprising top performers, he has made Hammers tempted to probably sign him from Belgian side Gent in the summer so as to solve their scoring problems.

Joakim Maehle

Since joining Atalanta in December 2020, he just managed to provide an assist in their 2–0 victory over Sampdoria on 28 February.

His Denmark national team debut occurred on 5 September 2020 in a Nations League game against

Belgium

; being replaced with Martin Braithwaite in the 72nd minute of a 2–0 home defeat.

He put away his first international goal in a friendly against the Faroe Islands on 7 October 2020 as well. Likewise, at Euro 2020 he performed so flourishingly as he netted two goals in the four games that he took part in the tournament.

Andreas Christensen

At the club level on 29 May 2021, he was replaced with the injured

Thiago Silva

in the 39th minute winning his first-ever UEFA Champions League in Chelsea's  1–0 victory over Manchester City in the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final in Porto.

On the international stage, he featured in six matches of Denmark's successful 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. His first goal for his international side was on 14 November 2017 as he scored to equalise in a 5–1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the second leg of the play-off.

While as one of Euro 2020 surprising top performers, he amazingly scored one goal during his 4 participation at the tournament.

Robin Gosens

He succeeded to establish himself as one of the top wing-backs in the Serie A, as not only he has excelled defensively but also so offensively.

In the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons, he became one of Atalanta's top goalscorers of the season as he scored respectively 9 goals and 11 goals, an unprecedented high number for a defender.

At the international level, his debut for

Germany

occurred on 3 September, as he started in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League game against Spain while he is widely revered as one of Euro 2020's best performers.

At Euro 2020, he put away a goal and provided an assist in a 4–2 triumph over Portugal in a group stage game of the tournament while he was awarded the Star of the Match for this feat. He also provided one more assist in the other game of the tournament.

Patrik Schick

He established himself as the preferred centre-forward of the 2020–21 campaign of Bayer Leverkusen

at the BayArena and ended up with 9 strikes across 29 league games.

Being regarded as one of

Euro 2020's best performers

, on the international stage in the Czech Republic's first group stage game against Scotland, he put away twice consisting of a goal from the halfway line in the Czech Republic 2–0 victory. Amazingly the strike proved to be the longest-recorded goal at the Euros since 1980 at 49.7 yards (or 45 meters).

He also was honoured to become the first

Czech

player since Tomáš Rosický at the 2006 FIFA World Cup to score a brace at a major competition and the first since Milan Baroš in 2004 to do so at the European Championships.

He flourishingly participated in 4 matches of the tournament scoring four times for his side, while he earned one star of the match award as well.

His most recent goal was the second goal of the Czech Republic 2-0 victory over the Netherland as he found the back of the net at minute 80.

Denzel Dumfries

While at the age of 18, he was just the

Netherlands

amateur wing-back, he currently is taking Euro 2020 by storm. On 13 June 2021, he put sway his first goal for the Netherlands, as he netted the winner in a 3–2 victory over Ukraine at UEFA Euro 2020.

He repeated his feat by scoring a goal in the following 2–0 victory over Austria while he won the penalty for Memphis Depay’s opener as well.

As one of the most prominent

Euro 2020 surprising top performrs

, in essence, he participated in four matches, scored two goals, provided one assist and won star of the match awards on two occasions. The 25-year-old’s stand out playing makes him a contender for player of the tournament as well.

 

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