On The Wing: 5 Of The Best Wingers At Euro 2016

On The Wing: 5 Of The Best Wingers At Euro 2016
By Gavin Cooney
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Here are some general stereotypes pertaining to wingers on a football field.

The general feeling around football is that the wingers are the least intelligent folk on the football field, the bird-brains if you like.

Rather than be befuddled by the sheer number of directions central players can move, winger are often consoled by the fact that they must merely fly up and down the wing in a straight line, occasionally whipping in a ball into the penalty area.

While these preconceptions may be accurate at Sunday League level, Euro 2016 is graced with some genuinely excellent wingers that transcend these staunchly held opinions.

We’ve teamed up with Four Star Pizza, purveyors of great sides, to bring you five of the best wingers at the competition.

(We have decided to count Cristiano Ronaldo as a forward, otherwise he would be too cocksure of a position at the top of the list).

Emil Forsberg

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If any Swedish player is likely to come close to breaking the creative monopoly Zlatan Ibrahimovic exerts over the national team, it is Forsberg. A left-winger, he linked up very well with left-back Jonas Olsson against Ireland, with of all of Sweden's attacks coming down their left flank. Forsberg is just 24, and plays with RB Leipzig in the German second division. Don't expect him to be cooped up in Leipzig for much longer: he was voted the division's best player last season, and has been linked with a move to Liverpool.

Andriy Yarmolenko

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Fittingly, Yarmalemko has spent his entire career up to now with Dynamo Kiev, and has scored 81 league goals in 195 games. He was identified as Kiev's greatest product since Andriy Shevchenko, and has collected 59 Ukranian caps since 2009, scoring an impressive 25 goals in that time.

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Yarmalenko has consistently been linked with a flight to one of Europe's more high-profile leagues, and is as effective playing centrally as he is on the right-wing.

Jakub Błaszczykowski

Blaszczykowski's name may be the most difficult to pronounce at Euro 2016, but he performs a simple yet effective role for Poland. The Poles are one of the few sides in the competition who play with a standard 4-4-2, to bring out the best in their striking duo of Arkadiusz Milik and Robert Lewandowski. Blaszczykowski was an integral part of Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund, and now finds himself ruling the roost at Fiorentina, where he is on loan from Dortmund.

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Blaszczykowski was Poland's top scorer in their qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup, but with the emergence of Milik and Lewandoski, his role is now to lay chances on a plate for the deadly duo.

Ivan Perisic

The most notable aspect of Perisic's performance for Croatia against was his absurd hair-do, featuring the number 4 and a map of Croatia shaved into either side of his head. Perisic also dazzled at Wolfsburg, where 18 league goals in 70 appearances earned him a move to Inter Milan.

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Croatia's midfield are far too good to place all their eggs in a Perisic-shaped basket, but that does not lessen his importance to the team, and has scored 13 goals since picking up his first international cap in 2011.He has come a long way from working on his father's chicken farm,

Arda Turan

Turan hatched an eyebrow-raising plan to take himself to Barcelona a year ago. Barca were still sanctioned under their transfer embargo from FIFA when Turan left Atletico Madrid, meaning he spent the first half of last season not playing at all, waiting until the ban expired in January.

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While he can occasionally crack under pressure - he once chucked a football boot at a linesman in La Liga - Turan is Turkey's captain and most important player, making his international debut at the tender age of 19. Turkey were poor in their opener against Croatia - Turan publicly apologised - so they will look to him to try and squeeze out of Group D. He is one of just three survivors of the Turkish side who bewildered Euro 2008 with a run to the semi-final, so his leadership will be vital.

See Also: Irish Player Ratings: How We Rated The Irish Players In A Gut-Wrenching Defeat To Belgium

See Also: Stephen Alkin Explains His Bizarre Comments On Cristiano Ronaldo's Penalty Miss

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