Armchair Pundit

Euro 2012 Team of the Round

Alex Chick

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After each round of Euro 2012 matches, we will publish our pick of the top performers.

The second group games saw pre-tournament favourites Spain and Germany assert themselves.

The former with a thumping 4-0 win over Ireland, the second with a closer - but no less impressive - victory over arch-rivals the Netherlands. Both countries boast two players in our team and might have had more.

Theo Walcott is the first substitute to make the team, after he delivered the very definition of an impact performance against Sweden.

However, his Arsenal clubmate Nicklas Bendtner is unlucky to miss out after his two-goal display for Denmark against Portugal. Let us know your personal Team of the Round at the bottom of the page.

Goalkeeper: Przemyslaw Tyton (Poland) - Expert rating 6, User rating 7.1
Got his break after Wojciech Szczesny's red card against Greece and instantly saved a penalty. Excelled again to deny a superb Russia side, and will count himself unlucky if he loses his pace for the must-win game against the Czech Republic. The talk in the Polish place is that Tyton will get the nod.

Right-back: Theodor Gebre Selassie (Czech Republic) - Expert rating 7, User rating 7.1
You read that name right. Gebre Selassie is the son of a Czech mother and Ethiopian father who came to Czechoslovakia as a doctor when both countries were under Communist rule. But he is much more than a good story, and gave an exemplary display of full-back play in the win against Greece - solid at the back and menacing in attack, assisting the Czechs' second goal.

Centre-back: Daniele De Rossi (Italy) - Expert rating 7, User rating 6.0
A central midfielder thrust into the heart of Italy's back three, De Rossi has adjusted surprisingly quickly to his new role. While his performances have been short on Beckenbauer-esque surges he was back, in pure defensive terms he was exceptional against Croatia, reading the game magnificently throughout.

Centre-back: Olof Mellberg (Sweden) - Expert rating 6, User rating 6.6
Defied the advancing years with an inspirational performance in defeat against England. Was initially awarded his country's first goal - which ended up as a Glen Johnson own goal - and there was no doubt about his second, a free header past Joe Hart. Also produced a magnificent defensive contribution, nicking the ball off Danny Welbeck.

Left-back: Fabio Coentrao (Portugal) - Expert rating 7, User rating 6.6
The spotlight might have fallen on the struggles of his Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, but Coentrao showed no such big-stage jitters. Supplied a brilliant ball for Silvestre Varela's late winner, made several telling dashes down the flank and made a superb defensive block just before half-time.

Central midfield: Xavi (Spain) - Expert rating 8, User rating 7.5
When Xavi plays well, Spain play well. And little wonder, since the midfielder made an eye-watering 136 passes against Ireland with a 93 per cent completion rate. Might have had a goal if not for a fine Shay Given save, but this performance was a masterclass in setting the table for team-mates to inflict damage inside the box.

Central midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) - Expert rating 8, User rating 7.7
Rivals thought his penalty miss in the Champions League final might crush his spirit. No such luck. The Bayern Munich man delivered a bravura performance against the Dutch, as he and Sami Khedira easily outmanoeuvred Mark van Bommel and Nigel De Jong. Assisted both goals with fantastic passes.

Central midfield: Yohan Cabaye (France) - Expert rating 8, User rating 6.7
Scored a fine goal, and hit the post at the end of a dazzling passing move, but the Newcastle man's control of the game is what really impressed. His interplay with Samir Nasri, Jeremy Menez and Franck Ribery was a particular highlight from an impressive French win.

Attacking midfield: Theo Walcott (England) - Expert rating 8, User rating 8.8
He was on the pitch less than half an hour and touched the ball only a handful of times, but Walcott won the game for England against Sweden, and you can't ask any more than that. Scored the equaliser, set up Welbeck's winner and would have had another assist if not for a wasteful Steven Gerrard finish.

Attacking midfield: Mesut Ozil (Germany) - Expert rating 7, User rating 7.3
Just a special player. The way he glides forward, with the ball exactly where he wants it at his feet, is almost reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane. Constantly inventive, relentlessly positive, Ozil is a joy to watch and a nightmare to play against. The heartbeat of possibly the best team at Euro 2012.

Striker: Fernando Torres (Spain) - Expert rating 8, User rating 7.9
Somebody has located his mojo. Having been restored to Spain's starting line-up against Ireland, Torres took all of four minutes to repay Vicente del Bosque's faith. Showing the sort of killer instinct absent at club level for two years, he nicked the ball off Richard Dunne and thrashed it into the net, before adding an expertly-taken second.

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