Euro 2016 – every team’s main man

Flickr - Nazionale Calcio
Photo Credit: Flickr - Nazionale Calcio

Euro 2016 promises to create some new football stars, while others are set to enhance their reputation at the tournament.

SoccerSweep has picked who to watch out for on each of the 24 teams competing.

Group A

Albania – Milot Rashica is only young, but he’s quite possibly the most exciting prospect in Albanian football right now. At 19, the pressure of the tournament might get to him, but equally, he may thrive on the opportunity to make a name for himself.


France – Paul Pogba can be summed up in one word: sensational. He’ll have to battle Antoine Griezmann for the limelight in midfield, but expect wonder goals and a few beautiful assists from the Juventus superstar, who’s expected to complete the biggest transfer of the summer too.

Romania – Florin Andone spent last season in the Spanish second division, but such was his quality that he is now being linked with a move to La Liga. He needs to be in good form if Romania are to have any hope of progressing.

Switzerland – Granit Xhaka is a name that will sound familiar to Arsenal fans. He’s the Gunners new signing, and he’s also Switzerland’s main man in midfield. The Euros will give him an opportunity to convince Arsene Wenger he can be a game changer next season.

Group B

England – Dele Alli needs to watch his temper, but if he keeps his cool, he’s England’s one to watch. The young Tottenham midfielder loves a nutmeg and has plenty of other tricks in the bag too. He’s good in possession and also has a brilliant eye for goal, scoring the Premier League’s Goal of the Season with his wonder strike against Crystal Palace.


RussiaSky Sports have pointed out that only Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski scored more in the Champions League last season than Artem Dzyuba. The CSKA Moscow striker is big, powerful, and can intimidate defences.

Slovakia – AC Milan’s Juraj Kucka isn’t the easiest on the eye, but watch how he controls the game, battling hard for the ball and allowing his teammates to ress forward.

Wales – Gareth Bale has tried his hardest to dismiss suggestions that Wales are a one man team, but the truth is, he’s their only world-class talent. Joe Ledley and Aaron Ramsey can contribute, but it’s up to Bale to make the difference.

Group C

Germany – It’s a hard one to call given the breadth of talent in the World Cup winners’ squad, but Thomas Muller is the man who’s got them to the Euros, having scored nine times in qualifying. He’s the sort of striker defenders don’t know what to do with, which makes him a strong contender for the Golden Boot.


Northern Ireland – Kyle Lafferty has come through an injury scare in the week leading up to the tournament, which is just as well, as Norn Iron are desperately dependent on their top scorer.

Poland – Robert Lewandowski is going to be massive. Poland are one of the dark horses, but they shouldn’t really be underestimated given that they boast one of the best strikers in Europe right now. He’ll also be putting in extra effort as he tries to push for a move to Real Madrid.

Ukraine – Andriy Yarmolenko is expected to get the goals for Ukraine, even if they’re not usually high scorers. His consistency means he has often been linked with a move to the Premier League, so he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Group D

Croatia – Luka Modric doesn’t get the credit he deserves for Real Madrid, but he is a truly sensational midfielder. He might not be Madrid’s biggest star, but for Croatia, he is the key to their midfield and should link up well with Ivan Rakitic.


Czech Republic – Tomas Rosicky is a doubt because of his ongoing injuries. If he makes it, though, the former Arsenal man can unpick any midfield thanks to his terrific football brain.

Turkey – It’s no surprise that Arda Turan has found it difficult to break into Barcelona’s midfield, but with all due respect, Turkey’s is not of that level. The attacking midfielder can star for them in what will be a difficult group.

Spain – David de Gea would have been one to watch, but various sources believe he has sensationally been sent home from the Euros following allegations made against him in the Spanish press. That leaves Alvaro Morata as their key man, as he will be the subject of a transfer war this summer. The Juventus forward needs to live up to the hype if he’s to get his big move.

Group E

Belgium – Mousa Dembele is just one part of Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’, but he’s arguably the most important. With Dembele in place, it’s very difficult to get the ball off Belgium and in the last year, he has got more confidence going forward too. He scored a world-class goal against Anderlecht last season, so he has shown he can be creative.


Italy – This is one of the rare tournaments where Italy are outsiders, but that’s because many of their best talents are up-and-coming. It may well fall to Southampton star Graziano Pelle to get the goals, just as he has done for the Saints all season.

Republic of Ireland – Shane Long isn’t usually thought of as a world-class striker, but he performs at international level time and again for Ireland. He’s good at getting in behind defences and could help Ireland cause a few upsets along the way.

Sweden – Zlaten Ibrahimovic is always the star wherever he goes. His potential move to Manchester United is irrelevant for the moment, as he looks to go out with a bang at what may well be his final tournament.

Group F

Austria – If you can get over his dreadful hair, Marko Arnautovic is one of the reasons some punters are opting for Austria this summer. He’s unbelievably powerful, and as he showed for Stoke against Man United a few months ago, he can score worldies too.


Hungary – Balasz Dzsudzsak is always Hungary’s best bet. He plays in Turkey, but in truth, he’s capable of moving to a better league in the future. Hungary have their work cut out if they’re to get out of the group, but he’s sure to get some of the goals if they do.

Iceland – Gylfi Sigurdsson is not just a free-kick specialist. The Swansea man comes up with goals every now and again, so watch out for how he masterminds Iceland’s attack.

Portugal – Renato Sanches has just joined Bayern Munich and he can show Carlo Ancelotti why he’s dubbed the next Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s got lightning pace, good ability on the ball, and gets himself in good positions. Who knows, he may even steal the limelight from CR7 if he puts in a good tournament.

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