JOE's player, goal and game of Euro 2016 5 years ago

JOE's player, goal and game of Euro 2016

Just in case our teams of the tournament weren't controversial enough, we've given our picks for the best goal, game and player of Euro 2016.

Attacking players haven't thrived in France, despite Antoine Griezmann finding the net six times, while there haven't been a huge number of impressive goals to choose from.

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That said, we've all given different answers and we're sure you'll have your own opinions on the best.

Take a look at our selections, and get in touch to tell us exactly what's wrong about what we've said.

Tom Victor (@tomvictor)

Player of the tournament

Joe Allen showed why Liverpool forked out £15m for him, playing near-perfect football for much of the tournament, and there's an argument that his early yellow card against Portugal was just as damaging as Aaron Ramsey's suspension. His performances demonstrate how well he could slot in to a continental midfield, and he deserves for bigger clubs than Celtic to come calling (no offence, Brendan). Poland's Grzegorz Krychowiak was just as good, but I can't really give it to someone whose team was eliminated at the quarter-final stage, while Ramsey misses out because of the stupid yellow card against Northern Ireland which contributed to his suspension. Yes, I really am that petty.

Goal of the tournament

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Ivan Perišić’s late winner for Croatia against Spain was a masterpiece of counter-attacking football and one of the few moments that truly got fans out of their seats. Xherdan Shaqiri and Hal Robson-Kanu round off the podium.

Game of the tournament

Italy’s group-stage win over Belgium was a classic tournament game and a true clash of styles. It was the football equivalent of a young upstart in a boxing film coming head-to-head with a wily older fighter who doesn’t have the reflexes of his younger self but knows his own body and his own strengths. And it had Antonio Conte responding to a tetchy, card-filled game by *bringing on* Thiago Motta.

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Kevin Beirne (@KevBeirne)

Player of the tournament

In a tournament so clearly lacking a world-class striker, it’s not a surprise to see a defender put in such a solid performance. Germany’s Jerome Boateng has established himself as the most dynamic defender in the world and Euro 2016 was where he proved this. The Bayern defender clearly fucked up in giving away that penalty against Italy but outside of those few seconds, he was the highest performer of the entire tournament with Germany only conceding from penalties while he was on the pitch.

Goal of the tournament

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal in Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Hungary is the stand-out for me. Xherdan Shaqiri’s bicycle kick was remarkable, and Dimitri Payet’s winner in the opening game of the tournament was spectacular, but Ronaldo’s casual flick of his heel was just ridiculous. If you put me in the same position as Payet or Shaqiri to told me to shoot, I probably would have tried the same thing. It would never have even crossed my mind to attempt to do what Ronaldo did - and that’s not even mentioning how difficult a skill it would be to actually pull it off. It took a few seconds for me to even fully register what happened when I saw it live. The perfect combination of the mental and physical sides of the game.

Game of the tournament

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For a tournament that overall lacked quality, there were some memorable games. Portugal v Hungary was as thrilling as it was ridiculous, Germany’s win over Italy was brilliantly tense and their defeat to France was exciting. Iceland’s win over England will likely go down in the history books as the one we all remember, but on a purely personal level the Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 win over Italy was the most fun I’ve had watching an international football match since 2002. I celebrated Robbie Brady’s goal so hard that I lost my voice and had to apologise to the couple living in the flat below mine the next day.

Simon Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5)

Player of the tournament

Antoine Griezmann. Playing in a slightly different system to the one we’ve seen him in at Atletico Madrid this year, he was great throughout the tournament and the main reason the French reached the final.

Goal of the tournament

Hal Robson-Kanu. Not just because he sent half of a much-fancied Belgium side to the shops with that sublime turn but because the goal typified the confidence flowing through a Welsh side that many folk were quick to write off. Before the tournament, all the talk was about Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale needing to be on top form if Wales were going to achieve anything in France, yet here was a bloke without a club scoring one of their most important goals of the tournament.

Game of the tournament

England 1-2 Iceland. Not because I enjoyed it - I absolutely didn’t. But despite all the anger directed towards Roy Hodgson et al, there was something incredible about seeing such a tiny nation pull something off by sticking together and playing a system that suited them. The powers that be at the FA might want to take note of that before making their next appointment. As embarrassing as it was for the English, there’s little chance anyone will be forgetting this match any time soon, therefore it has to be the game of the tournament for me. From an English point of view, let’s hope we look back on it as a watershed moment.

Do you agree with our picks? If not, get in touch on Facebook and tell us who you would have gone for instead.

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