Who doesn’t love a fantasy football XI ahead of a major international tournament? Read on to find out more about the EURO dream XI of all time.
We are in the middle of the 16th UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as EURO. The tournament first began in 1960, and has been held every four years, except for the current EURO 2020 that was postponed to the next year (2021) due to the outbreak of Corona Virus.
There have been 10 different countries that have won the European Championship: Spain and Germany are the only teams to win the title on three occasions,France
has won 2, and Italy, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, andNetherlands
have achieved the honor once.
Undoubtedly, none of the said successes, and the fact that the tournament is the second-most viewed tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup, would have been possible if it wasn't for the great players who play in the EUROs.
The players that were the vital part in their trophy-winning teams, and brought joy to their entire nation, are the ones that are widely remembered by football lovers all around the world.
In this article, we take a look at the EURO Dream XI of all time, in addition to a brief overview of their performances in EUROs as well as their achievements.
Full name: Peter Bolesław Schmeichel
Date of birth: 18 November 1963 (age 58)
Place of birth: Gladsaxe, Denmark
Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
The legendary Danish goal keeper is not only our goal keeper on the list of
EURO dream XI of all time
, but he is also commonly regarded as one of the greatest goal keepers in the history of football. While his career is primarily pointed out to because of his glittering spell atManchester United
, Schmeichel has won the 1992 European Championship with his country's national team.
He was the team's starter goal keeper, and made a string of pivotal saves during the tournament which led to Denmark being the champion for the first and –to this day- the last time. In the semi-finals against the defending champions Netherlands he stopped a penalty kick from Marco Van Basten, and Denmark won the penalty-shootouts 5 to 4 and reached the final, where they beatGermany
2 – 0, with Schmeichel making a number of decisive saves.
At the end of the year, he was named The World's Best Goal Keeper 1992 by IFFHS. Moreover, he has featured in 129 matches for Denmark national team, making him the most capped player in the history of the national team. More interestingly, he has scored 1 goal forDenmark
In addition, he has also had a luminous career on the individual stage, being named UEFA Goal Keeper of the Year in 1992, 1993, and 1998, IFFHS's World's Best Goal Keeper in 1992 and 1993. He is also an inductee in English Football Hall of Fame. Schmeichel is deservedly the goal keeper of the
EURO dream team
Full name: Franz Anton Beckenbauer
Date of birth: 11 September 1945 (age 76)
Place of birth: Munich, Germany
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s): Center Back
The irreplaceable player in every list of best players of all time is the German Beckenbauer, and our
EURO dream XI of all time
is no exception. "The Emperor" or "Der Kaiser" is the nickname he was given due to his elegant style, and perfect defending and leadership abilities.
He has made appearance in 3 FIFA World Cups and 2 European Championships. Beckenbauer lifted the trophy of the EURO 1972 with West Germany as the captain, beating Soviet Union 3 – 0 in the final match. Only 2 years later, the Emperor won the FIFA World Cup with his country.
In EURO 1976, West Germany reached the final once again, but they lost to Czechoslovakia in penalty shootouts. However, Beckenbauer's incredible performances included him in the team of the tournament. Moreover, he has played in 103 games for West Germany national team, and has scored 14 goals.
Furthermore, he has been named the European Football Player of the Year by winning the Ballon d'Or in 1972 and 1976, which are the years of the 2 EURO's he has played in, proving his excellent performances at these tournaments to be true.
In addition, he has been named in all 3 World Cups' all-star teams he has featured in, and has been voted Germany's Player of the Year 4 times. In 2020, Beckenbauer was included in France Football Ballon d'Or Dream Team of all time as one of the 2 best Center Backs ever. He is indubitably one of the best players in the history, and no one deserves a place in EURO Dream XI of all time more than Der Kaiser.
Full name: Laurent Robert Blanc
Date of birth: 19 November 1965 (age 56)
Place of birth: Alès, France
Height: 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Laurent Blanc is a former World Cup and European Champions with France national team. He was a pivotal part of the golden team that won the 1998 World Cup and successively EURO 2000. Moreover, he has played in 2 other Euro tournaments. In June 1998, Blanc scored the first Golden Goal in the history of World Cups against Paraguay.
Furthermore, Blanc has made 97 appearances for French national team, and has scored 16 goals. Moreover, he was named the French Player of the Year in 1990, and 1988 UEFA European U-21 Championship Golden Player.
In Euro 1992, 1996, and 2000 Blanc was named in the Team of the Tournament, and that left us no choice but to include him in the list of EURO dream XI of all time. His name will be remembered in the hearts and minds of French football fans forever, for he was a part of the winning teams in 1998 and 2000.
Full name: Paolo Cesare Maldini
Date of birth: 26 June 1968 (age 53)
Place of birth: Milan, Italy
Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Position(s): Center Back
Regarded as one of the greatest players ever, and arguably the best defender in of all time, Paolo Maldini is deservedly in the
EURO dream XI of all time
, in spite of the fact that he has never actually won the title!
Maldini made his debut for Azzurri in 1988, and continued playing for them until he retired in 2002. During this time, he made 126 appearances and scored 7 goals for his national team. He captained them for 8 years in 74 matches.
Apart from the individual records, Maldini have taken part in 4 FIFA World Cups as well as 3 European Championships, but he has never been able to win any of them despite his outstanding personal performances and reaching 2 finals (1994 World Cup, Euro 2000), and 2 other semi-finals (1990 World Cup, EURO 1988), and he was named in the all-star teams of all of these tournaments in addition to EURO 1996! Furthermore, Maldini was named in 2002 FIFA World Cup Dream team.
In addition, El Capitano has had an exhilarating career on individual level as well, where he has been placed 3rd in Ballon d'Or in 1994 and 2003, and won the FIFA World Player of the Year Silver Award in 1995.
The one club man spent the entirety of his career atA.C. Milan
, and has lots of record with regard to the number of matches in Italian football. He is deservedly one of the best players ever, and holds a place in Euro dream team.
Date of birth: 5 September 1967 (age 54)
Place of birth: Dresden, East Germany
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11+1⁄2 in)
Position(s): Defensive midfielder
Regarded as one of the greatest German Players of all time, Matthias Sammer is one of our defensive midfielders in EURO dream XI of all time. Sammer played in 74 international caps- 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified side, taking part in 2 European Championships and 1 FIFA World Cup.
He won the EURO 1996 with Germany, where he played in the libero role and was named the best player of the tournament after winning the final match againstCzech Republic
. Furthermore, Sammer was a member of the German squad for UEFA Euro 1992, where the team was beaten in the final by Denmark. He also played in 1994 World Cup.
On personal level, Sammer won the Ballon d'Or in 1996 following his astonishing performances in the European Championship in the same year. Moreover, he has been named the German Footballer of the Year on 2 occasions in 1995 and 1996. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest defensive midfielders that has played in the European Championships, and is one of our midfielders in EURO dream XI of all time.
Full name: Xavier Hernández Creus
Date of birth: 25 January 1980 (age 41)
Place of birth: Terrassa, Spain
Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Position(s): Defensive Midfielder
The great legendary Xavi, known as one of the greatest midfielders of all time and one of the best players ever, is an irreplaceable part of EURO dream team. With the Spain's golden generation Xavi started making history by winning the 1999 FIFA youth Championship. He made his debut in 2000 for senior Spanish national team, and went on to feature in 133 matches, as well as scoring 12 goals.
Spain's dominance over Europe's and World's football began in EURO 2008, where they won the tournament by beating Germany in the final match. Xavi was deservedly named the best player of the tournament.
He provided the assist for fellow teammate Fernando Torres in the final match. 2 Years later,Spain
won the FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history, and Xavi was one of the best players of the tournaments, having provided the most accurate number of passes (599) with a success rate of 91%.
Moreover, he averaged 11.5 kilometers of covered area per match, more than any other player, and he covered nearly 15 kilometers in the final match against Netherlands. In 2012, where Spain won the European Championship once again, Xavi was a vital player of the squad.
In the final match Spain beat Italy 4 – 0, and with Xavi providing two assists in the final, for Jordi Alba and Fernando Torres, he became the first player to register assists in two separate European Championship finals. He was named in the team of the tournament, and became the most decorated Spanish player in history.
Moreover, among the numerous individual records of Xavi, here we point out to only some: he was placed 3rd in Ballon d'Or three times, in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Furthermore, Xavi has been named World's Best Playmaker 4 times by IFFHS. From 2008 to 2013, Xavi was named in FIFA FIFPro World XI on 6 successive occasions.
In addition, in 2020, he was voted in Ballon d'Or dream team of all time by France Football. Without a doubt, there is no other midfielder who is more competent to be in the list of EURO dream XI of all time.
Full name: Andrés Iniesta Luján
Date of birth: 11 May 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth: Fuentealbilla, Spain
Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Position(s): Attacking midfielder
Andres Iniesta is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and one of the best players ever. He was a pivotal part of Spain's "Golden Generation" that reached the pinnacle of the countries football by winning EURO 2008, 2010 World Cup, and EURO 2012.
The Xavi-Iniesta duo is forever one of the best- maybe the best- midfield partnerships in the history of the sport. They helped Spain win everything in their primes. Iniesta played an important role in winning EURO 2008, having provided 3 assists throughout the tournament.
He was named in the Team of the Tournament. The same thing happened in 2010 World Cup, were Spain stood on the summit of World's football. Iniesta scored the most important goal of Spain's history in the final match of 2010 WC against Netherlands in extra times.
He was chosen as the Man of the Match and was named in the tournament's all-star team. In EURO 2012, Iniesta was even brighter than he was in the previous one. He was chosen as the Man of the Match in the final match against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament.
Furthermore, Don Andres has played in 131 matches for La Roja, and has scored 13 goals. Iniesta was named UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2012, and was runner-up toLionel Messi
in 2010 Ballon d'Or, and placed 3rd in 2012.
Moreover, he has been named in FIFA FIFPro World XI on 9 consecutive occasions from 2009 to 2017, and in UEFA Team of the Year 6 times. Additionally, Iniesta was named the World's Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013 by IFFHS. He was also named in UEFA Euro all-time XI published in 2016.
He is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in the history of the sport, and one of the best players in UEFA European Championship who has a firm place in EURO dream XI of all time.
Full name: Michel François Platini
Date of birth: 21 June 1955 (age 66)
Place of birth: Jœuf, France
Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s): Attacking midfielder
Commonly known as one of the best players of all time, Michel Platini has been a glorious player in the European Championship history. He was a key player in winning EURO 1984, where he was both the top scorer with 9 goals and the best player of the tournament.
It was the only European Championship he ever participated in, and his 9 goals was a record until Cristiano Ronaldo broke it in 2021. However, Platini only played in 1 tournament while Ronaldo has taken part in 5. Furthermore, Michel Platini featured in 3 World Cups, and helped his country reach the semi-finals in 1982 and 1986.
In addition, he was a decorated player on personal level. Platini won the Ballon d'Or 3 times, in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Platini was named the French Player of the year in 1976 and 1977. Moreover, he was named in FIFA World Cup all-star team in 1982 and 1986. Platini is indubitably one of the greatest players to be in the list of EURO dream XI of all time.
Date of birth: 30 May 1946 (age 75)
Place of birth: Ub, PR Serbia, Yugoslavia
Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s): Left winger
Dragan Dzajic is known as one of the greatest players to have risen from former Yugoslavia, and one of the best left wingers of all time. He made 85 appearances for Yugoslavia national team, and scored 23 goals.
The most memorable moments of Dragan occurred in 1968 European Championship, where he helped Yugoslavia reach the final match to face Italy. He scored in the first final match that resulted in a 1 – 1 draw, but he could not prevent his country to lose the replay match where they were beaten 2 – 0.
He was named in the team of the tournament as well, and was voted in FIFA XI the same year. He talks about the tournament: "I have nice memories from that championship. It's true that our failure in the final hurts me, but from today's perspective, I can say that we made a great result.
Some excellent teams were behind us, but against the home side, we were in a subordinate position due to a 'higher power.' The referee Dienst was the Azzurri's twelfth man and they won only due to his help. In those circumstances, our generation couldn't win the gold medal. It's also too bad that there was no Ilija Petković in the repeated match because our game play would have been much quicker"
Moreover, he took part in 1974 World Cup, and EURO 1976 where Yugoslavia hosted the games. They lost to Germany in the semi-finals. Yet, Dragan Djajic was named in the team of the tournament. Dragan was placed 3rd in 1968 Ballon d'Or.
In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Serbia and Montenegro by the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years. Dragan Dzajic is one of our left wingers in the EURO dream team because of his astonishing performances in the tournament.
Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth: 5 February 1985 (age 36)
Place of birth: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Position(s): Right Winger
is one of the best players in the history of football. He has won numerous team and individual awards. Ronaldo has won 5 Ballon d'Ors, 4 European Golden Shoes, and lots of more individual awards. He has also won a great number of titles with his clubs.
However, his records and achievements with Portuguese national team is something different, for himself, and for his fans. Ronaldo was the captain of the Portugal national team that won the European Championship in 2016, which was their first major trophy in history.
Ronaldo also won the 2019 UEFA Nations League with his national team. Back from the beginning, CR7 made his debut in 2003 at the age of 18 forPortugal
, and went on to be holding the record of most international goals in the world (109- updated 25 June 2021), and the most capped player in his national team with 178 appearances.
Ronaldo has played in 5 EUROs- including the ongoing EURO 2020 tournament- no other player has ever been able to play in 5 different European Championships. They reached the final match in 2004, but lost the match to Greece. Ronaldo scored 2 goals and provided 2 assists throughout the games and was included in the team of the tournament.
However, they repeated the feat in 2016, and this time they did not lose the chance of standing on the pinnacle of European football: they beat the hosts France in the final match, and Ronaldo lifted the trophy. He was the second highest goal scorer of the tournament and received the Silver Ball. Ronaldo was named in the team of the tournament, as he had been in 2004 and 2012.
Ronaldo has constantly been a part of FIFA FIFPro World XI since 2004 until recent 2020 for 14 consecutive years. He has also been named in UEFA Team of the Year on 15 occasions. Regarded as one of the greatest player in the history of football, CR7's presence in the list of EURO dream XI of all time is unquestionable.
Speaking of his unique record with respect to European Championships, he holds the record of most minutes played in the tournament, most victories, most goals, most time being named Man of the Match, and most appearances. (The exact stats may be varied soon).
Date of birth: 31 October 1964 (age 576)
Place of birth: Utrecht, Netherlands
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Marco Van Basten is the striker of our EURO dream team. He is regarded as one of the greatest strikers and footballers of all time. He was a prolific goal scorer who scored 24 goals within 58 international caps for Netherlands.
He helped his country win their one- and to this day- only major trophy: the European Championship in 1988. Van Basten was the top scorer of the tournament with 5 goals including an astonishing volley in the final match against Soviet Union, which they won 2 – 0. Moreover, he was the Player of the Tournament due to his brilliant performances throughout the games.
4 years later, in EURO 1992 Netherlands lost in the semi-finals against Denmark in penalty shootouts where Marco Van Basten missed his penalty, but he was named the tournament's Best Player for the second successive time. Van Basten also took part in 1990 World Cup.
Furthermore, the Dutch legend has a decorated career on individual stage: He has won 3 Ballon d'Ors in 1988, 1989, and 1992. Moreover, he was UEFA Best Player of the Year on 3 occasions, and was named in UEFA EURO all-time XI (published in 2016). He is deservedly the best striker in the history of European Championships, and is our first choice for this position in our EURO dream team XI of all time.