The Men Of The Tournament

Published: 2021-07-09 By: The Guru

After a year of waiting for the tournament to take place, the big event hasn’t disappointed. It’s been a nerve-wracking few weeks with some emotional events taking place, but as the three lions get ready to reach a major tournament final for the first time since 1966, the crowds are holding their breath for victory. 

According to the social tracker over at, Spain, England and France are some of the most talked about teams online right now, with Italy leading the way as team of the week, with the most mentions of all. But as England head into the final on Sunday as favourites, it’s likely to change.

So who are the players which have been attracting attention throughout the tournament?  

Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)

Having shown an outstanding performance in the opening two matches, Wing-back Dumfries managed to score the winning goal against the Ukraine, while also ensuring his team secured victory over Austria after winning a penalty. 

His goals were the first for the Netherlands. Having risen from playing as an amateur, Dumfries seems to have come a long way in a short space of time. 

Raphael Varane (France)

8 years ago, Raphael Varane was described as one of the world’s best defenders in an impressive match against Germany. Having won the Champions League a staggering four times already, the 28-year-old is already on the radar of Manchester United who are looking to prize him away from Spain. 

Varane has won everything there is to win for club and country, although he may be looking for a new challenge in England, but transfer negotiations are set to be tricky. 

Having started out as a France Youth International, Varane earned caps at under-18, under-20 and under-21, with his full international debut following in 2013. Just one year later, Varane was representing his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where he was nominated for the best young player award. 

Cristiano Renaldo (Portugal)

There’s not a spectator in the world that hasn’t heard of Cristiano Renaldo, during the tournament, he became the first person in the world to reach 500 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In 2020, he also became the first active team sports athlete to surpass $1 billion in career earnings. 

This year, Ronaldo is top of the FedEx Performance Zone list; an algorithm where data is generated to create accurate rankings. 

Renato Sanches (Portugal)

The Portuguese midfielders performances were one of the highlights of the tournament. Portugal got out of a tricky looking group containing Germany and France, and he was central to it. 

Just five years ago, the then 18-year-old player was crowned as Portugal’s rising teenage star in which he ended a full season as a senior professional and played a leading role in Beneficia’s league title. He led the way and was named young player of the tournament. 

After suffering hamstring injuries in two consecutive FA Cup matches in 2018, it’s been a long road to recovery for Sanches, however he finally seems to be turning a corner. 

Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine)

Having been born in Russia, Yarmolenko moved to the Ukraine as a child in a turn of events that would have the Ukrainian national team jumping for joy. The player has since made 15 Premier League appearances for West Ham; however arguably the highlight of his career has been his performances this summer, he scored a great goal to ensure Ukraine saw off Sweden in the round of 16. 

Mikkel Damsgaard (Denmark)

Having made his first team debut at the young age of 17, Damsgaard now plays as a winger for Italian Serie A club Sampdoria and the Denmark national team. He scored an unbelievable free-kick versus England in the semi-final, however he and his team were unable to finish the job after losing to a Harry Kane inspired side.

Throughout the tournament, Damsgaard and his team showed moments of quality, capturing the hearts of the neutrals after the awful events in their first game versus Finland. Damsgaard score the pick of the goals in their 4-1 defeat of Russia, he opened the scoring with a dipping strike which really helped to set the tone for the evening. Denmark can be proud of their performance and Mikkel Damsgaard was arguably their best player.

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