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Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament so far
Published : 20 Jun 2012 15:47:04
The group stage of Euro 2012 is now complete and teams are preparing for the quarter-finals.
We have selected the best performers from Group A,B,C and D and put them into a European dominating starting XI.
Take a look at our choices and let us know what you think of our Euro 2012 team of the tournament so far.
Position : Goalkeeper
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
The World's most expensive goalkeeper was a vital member of the Italian World Cup winning squad of 2006 and his countrymen have called upon his leadership to help guide them to success at Euro 2012. Some smart saves in the opening two games gave the Italians two hard-earned points against Spain and Croatia on their way to qualification for the next round.
Mathieu Debuchy (France)
The young right-back only had a handful of caps heading into the tournament but has been a shining light for France in defence. His bombing runs from the back have even managed to trouble Ashely Cole and the Lille full-back looks like a real talent for the future.
The Real Madrid centre-back opened the scoring in Portugal's second game with Denmark, heading home a João Moutinho corner kick in the 3–2 win and being named UEFA Man of the match.
Holger Badstuber (Germany)
The Germans finished as winners of Group B with three wins and only two goals conceded. 23-year-old Bayern Munich centre-back Badstuber has formed an excellent partnership with Mats Hummels and the young defender has flourished so far and has been identifyied as Joachim Löw's most important centre-back.
Jordi Alba (Spain)
The left-back spot has been a difficult position to fill for Spain in the last few years, but it now seems that Valencia star Jordi Alba is ready to make the position his own. The pacey left-back has been excellent in attack and defensively for the current European and World Champions
Steven Gerrard (England)
The experienced midfielder in the England camp was handed the armband by new manager Roy Hodgson just before the start of the tournament. He has helped galvanize the team and provided as superb assist for Jolean Lescott in the 1-1 draw with France. If England are to progress further, they will need Gerrard at his very best.
Giorgos Karagounis (Greece)
After scoring the opening goal of Greece's incredible Euro 2004 triumph, the inspirational Greek captain once again smashed in the goal that sent the Russians out and put the Greeks through the the quarter-finals. At 35-years-old Karagounis has given his nation a much needed boost.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
At just 27-years-old Schweinsteiger is one of the leaders in the German squad and a man they can rely on to perform. Often described as 'the brain' of the team, his ability to control the midfield has lead to Germany dominating matches and is going to be key to any success.
Mesut Özil (Germany)
The magician in the German team has once again shown what he is able to do. After bursting onto the scene at the 2010 World Cup he has once again
Mario Gomez (Germany)
The prolific Bayern Munich striker has carried his Bundesliga form into the tournament, scoring three goals for the Germans. The decisive goal against Portugal was followed up with another two goals against the Netherlands.
Mario Mandžukić (Croatia)
Two goals against Ireland and another against Italy have left the Croatian forward as joint top goalscorer at the tournament so far. With Croatia missing out on the quarter-final stage, he wont be able to add to his goal tally of three goals, but he has certainly impressed in his three appearances of the tournament.
Iker Casillas (Spain) - Goalkeeper - Another solid start from the experienced Real Madrid keeper, key to Spain's potential success.
Jolean Lescott (England) - Defender - Put England into the lead against France and has defended well alongside John Terry
Daniele De Rossi (Italy) - Midfielder - The destroyer midfielder has moulded into a fine play maker for the Italians and was excellent against current holders Spain.
Jakub Błaszczykowski (Poland) - Midfielder - National hero who cemented his name in history with wonder strike against the Russians.
Petr Jiráček (Czech Republic) - Midfielder - Put the Czechs into the lead in the 2-1 over Greece and scored the crucial winner against Poland to put them through to the quarters.
Alan Dzagoev (Russia) - Midfielder - Three goals to his name and was excellent against Czech Republic. Missed out on the chance to shine after Russia were eliminated.
Andrés Iniesta (Spain) - Midfielder - El Ilusionista (The Illusionist) Not alot more can be said about the passing style of the Spanish midfield, but Iniesta has once again been outstanding.
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) - Forward - Scored for Sweden in the opening game with Ukraine then rounded off his tournament with an incredible strike against France.
Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine) - Forward - The Ukrainian national icon scored two goals in the win over Sweden and sparked jubilation in his home country.
Nicklas Bendtner (Denmark) - Forward - Dominating performance against Portugal that resulted in two goals, more memorable now because of his choice of underwear.