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The Balls.ie Alternative EURO 2020 Team Of The Tournament

The Balls.ie Alternative EURO 2020 Team Of The Tournament

It's that stage of the tournament, when the pundits will start debating their EURO 2020 team of the tournament. We can see the big questions lining up already. Stones or Laporte? Insigne or Sterling? Spinazzola or Shaw? Maehle or Chiellini?

So, we've decided to look at things a little differently - we've decided to pick a team of the tournament for EURO 2020, exclusively chosen from players who exited the tournament before the semi-final stage.

There's plenty of options to choose from, and we've decided to strike a healthy balance between those who were genuinely in player of the tournament contention before they crashed out, alongside the cult heroes of the group stages.

Without further ado, we present to you...

The Balls.ie Alternative EURO 2020 Team of the Tournament

GK: Yann Sommer (Switzerland)

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Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Yann Sommer was a crucial part of Switzerland's surprise run to the quarter-finals.

He not only saved the crucial penalty in the shoototu of their shock win over France in the last 16, he also made several crucial saves during the 120 minutes of the 3-3 draw.

He followed that up with an incredible performance in the quarter-finals against Spain, almost single handedly dragging the Swiss to the semi-finals before they ultimately came unstuck on penalties.

RB: Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)

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Dumfries had a stellar group stage, as the Dutch won 3 from 3. He scored in both of the wins against Ukraine and Austria and, if we're honest, it's likely he could well end up in the team of the tournament proper.

We imagine the 25-year-old will be highly sought after in light of his performances, and rumours are already linking him to Everton.

CB: Grant Hanley (Scotland)

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If any Norwich player was going to leave his mark on this tournament, we thought it would be Finland's Teemu Pukki. But, despite a disappointing tournament for Scotland, it was their centre-back Grant Hanley who did the Canaries proudest.

If we're honest, it's the England game alone that's justified this inclusion.

That's not to say Scotland weren't ultimately unlucky not to get more from their group, but Hanley put in a superhuman performance at the heart of Scotland's defence - and they remain the only team to stop England from scoring so far in the tournament.

CB: Willi Orban (Hungary)

Photo: Alex Nicodim/Sportsfile
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If you'd told Hungary before the tournament that they would avoid defeat to both France and Germany, they would certainly have taken it.

Ultimately, it wasn't enough to progress to the last 16, but their defence was the most impressive part of their performances - not least Willi Orban, who put the shackles on Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema in their 1-1 draw with France.

We think his warm-up game against Ireland must have been what riled him up for such an impressive tournament.

LB: Robin Gosens (Germany)

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A goal against Portugal. Two assists. At left wingback, Robin Gosens was a rare bright light for Germany in what was ultimately a very disappointing tournament.

We imagine that, similarly to Dumfries, he will have been put on the radar of many of Europe's biggest clubs after the EUROs - and, we can't lie, he got us fairly hyped with his early performances in the tournament.

CM: Paul Pogba (France)

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Can Paul Pogba's performances for Man United sometimes be erratic? Yes. Does Paul Pogba, without fail, always show up at international tournaments? Absolutely.

The Frenchman was on top form despite his side being knocked out surprisingly early. He was spreading stunning passes across the pitch in the group stages, and capped off a great personal tournament with a goal of the tournament contender against Switzerland in the last 16.

CM: Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)

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With every game of the EUROs, we had more and more questions about Gini Wijnaldum's impending departure from Liverpool. Having been a crucial part of their 2020 league-winning team, he has now been allowed to sign for PSG on a free.

He proved just how good he is by bossing the midfield in the Netherlands' three group games, scoring three goals in the process.

Like Dumfries, he was unlucky to be knocked out in the last 16 after Matthijs de Ligt's red card led to a shock win for the Czech Republic.

CM: Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)

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Switzerland's run to the quarter-finals was so impressive and surprising that we simply had to have a second Swiss player in here - and who better than their resident maniac, Granit Xhaka.

The divisive Arsenal midfielder was influential in their win over France in the second round - and, in true Xhaka fashion, found himself suspended for the quarter-final after picking up two bookings for dissent.

His motivational influence cannot be underestimated, though, and he was the key cog in a very successful Swiss midfield.

FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

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Okay, sure. Cristiano Ronaldo - arguably the greatest European player of all-time - is hardly an "alternative" pick. But, he fits the criteria, and he was on top form again, so we can't exactly leave him out.

Five goals (yes, three of them were penalties) and an assist meant he contributed to all but one of Portugal's goals in the tournament. His second against Hungary was a particular highlight, and the tournament saw him take the records of all-time international top scorer and top European Championships scorer.

Some going.

FW: Emil Forsberg (Sweden)

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We have to say, Emil Forsberg charmed all of us with his incredible performances for Sweden at EURO 2020. He scored crucial goals against Slovakia and Poland, as well as scoring in their surprise last 16 defeat to Ukraine.

It wasn't just his goalscoring, though - his general play was excellent, and he could easily have added to his tally for the tournament against Spain.

You can firmly subscribe us to the Emil Forsberg fanclub here at Balls.

FW: Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)

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Schick's 5 goals tie him with Ronaldo as the tournament's top scorer as it stands - and he scored his for a much weaker team. Goals in both knockout rounds, as well as a crucial penalty against Croatia, contributed so much to the Czech Republic's surprise run to the quarters.

The highlight of Schick's tournament, though, was what will surely end up as the goal of the tournament. His stunner from the half-way line past Scotland's David Marshall was arguably the standout moment of the group stages, and Schick has firmly put his name out there after a fantastic tournament.

He is another in contention for the team of the tournament proper.

EURO 2020 Team of the Tournament

So, there you have it - the Balls.ie alternative EURO 2020 team of the tournament. We're sure a few of these may well end up in the final team of the tournament, but we hope we've shed light on some top performers from the early stages of the competition.

SEE ALSO: You Have To Love Kasper Schmeichel's England Dig Ahead Of Euros Semi-Final

Eoin Harrington

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