Euros best player, goal, match and more: Standard Sport writers assess tournament and what next for England

·5-min read
Euros best player, goal, match and more: Standard Sport writers assess tournament and what next for England

From Sweet Caroline and Patrik Schick's screamer against Scotland to penalty heartbreak for England, our writers give their take on Euro 2020.

Dan Kilpatrick

Player of the tournament

A number of Italians are in contention but Raheem Sterling had the biggest impact on the tournament.

He was decisive in five of England's seven games and was responsible for their two most important moments: the breakthrough against Germany and winning the penalty in the semi-final.

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Goal of the tournament

Patrik Schick's hit from the halfway line against Scotland was a wonderful mix of vision, audacity and technique. Harry Kane's volley against Ukraine would have topped it, had it gone in.

Match of the tournament

Switzerland's win over France on penalties.

High-quality knockout football at its finest. Drama, tension and a brilliant underdog story at the end.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Personal highlight

The scenes after England's semi-final win over Denmark, when the whole of Wembley joined the squad in a rendition of Sweet Caroline, were unforgettable and unlike anything seen in this country for a generation.

Biggest disappointment

The sizeable minority of England supporters who shamed the country by storming Wembley on final day and sacking central London. And those fans who booed their own players taking the knee.

What now for England?

Strength to strength.

It should be beyond none of Gareth Southgate's current squad to still be in contention for Qatar 2022 in November next year and there are a number of hugely exciting talents coming through.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

James Robson

Player of the tournament

Raheem Sterling. Sadly he could not replicate his form throughout the tournament in the final, but still had his moments.

Was at his very best carrying England all the way to the final with tireless runs to open up defences and goals too.

His future at Manchester City is in doubt but there will be no shortage of takers after this tournament.

Goal of the tournament

Has to be Patrik Schick.

Say what you want about Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall’s positioning, but this was all about Schick’s speed of thought and technique to get his shot absolutely right and score from virtually the halfway line.

The pace of the shot was also significant. While David Beckham’s all those years ago felt like it was in slow motion, this one flew in - though Marshall may disagree.

 (AP)
(AP)

Match of the tournament

There were a few contenders, but France vs Portugal edges it for me.

Perhaps it was because of what was happening between Germany and Hungary at the same time on a night qualification from the group of death changed constantly.

But seeing Ronaldo, Benzema, Mbappe and Pogba slug out a 2-2 draw was thrilling.

Personal highlight

England. There individual moments like victory against Germany and the scenes after Denmark - but it was the whole experience of seeing the Three Lions reach a final.

Watching England has become enjoyable again - and even in defeat to Italy there so many positives to take.

Roll on 2022.

Biggest disappointment

Bruno Fernandes. Perhaps he is a victim of being played so much by Manchester United, but I thought he could take the strain off Ronaldo and make Portugal serious contenders. Instead it was Ronaldo carrying the show yet again.

What now for England?

Perhaps the source of most encouragement is the fact that the World Cup is just 18 months away.

That means Kane should still be at the height of his powers, while Foden, Mount, Saka, Sancho and Greenwood will be even more experienced.

There are no guarantees, but this is a team that knows how to approach tournament football.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Simon Collings

Player of the tournament

Leonardo Bonucci. An absolute rock for Italy at the back during the whole tournament.

Only missed 45 minutes of action, when rested during the final group. Still a world-class centre-back at 34.

Goal of the tournament

Patrik Schick vs Scotland. Possibly the best goal I’ve seen live.

An outrageous strike and it sucked the life out of Hampden Park. Schick had a superb tournament overall, scoring five times.

Match of the tournament

Russia vs Denmark. There are plenty of contenders, and I nearly went for Italy vs Spain, but this game pipped it.

There was so much emotion involved and Denmark rose to the occasion in style.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Personal highlight

Attending Italy vs Spain. This felt like the first ‘proper’ game I have been to since the pandemic hit, because the fans were well and truly back.

Incredible atmosphere and the game delivered too.

Biggest disappointment

England losing on penalties. Not much to write here. The worst way to lose a final, particularly when a 19-year-old misses the decisive kick. Heartbreak.

What now for England?

There is so much talent in this squad they can easily kick on.

Remember France in 2016? They lost a home Euros and won the World Cup two years later.

 (AP)
(AP)

Jack Rosser

Player of the tournament

Kyle Walker. So many who could take this from Italy or England, but Walker's season started with him fearing his England career was over after a red card in Iceland and ended with a string of stunning performances.

Goal of the tournament

Patrik Schick vs Scotland.

The image of David Marshall scrambling to deal with this superbly executed strike from just inside the Scotland half will stay with many.

Inspirational stuff from one of the standout performers of Euro 2020.

Match of the tournament

Italy vs Spain. The first half of this semi-final might well be the finest 45 minutes of football I've seen.

So often these games can be cagey, cautious affairs but this will live long in the memory.

Personal highlight

Luke Shaw's goal in the final.

Shaw has been on an incredible journey since his horrific leg-break in 2015.

He doesn't score many, but to score that in front of 66,000 and the watching Mauricio Pochettino - a father-like figure - was special.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Biggest disappointment

England’s penalty defeat. What a cruel way for this magical month to end.

There was a solid spell of last night's final where it looked like Italy would not find a way back. If only England had taken advantage.

What now for England?

Very little needs to change. There is talent aplenty coming through and those who missed penalties last night will go on to do so much in a Three Lions shirt.

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