Five who starred and five who flopped at Euro 2016

08 July 2016 02:00

As Euro 2016 heads to Sunday's final between Portugal and hosts France in Paris, there have been many memorable performances throughout the tournament.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at those players who have lit up the competition and those who endured a summer to forget.

STARS

Gareth Bale - Wales

While the Real Madrid man certainly did not carry the rest of the Wales squad to the semi-finals single-handedly, he scored two signature free-kicks and the last goal in a superb 3-0 win over Russia.

Leonardo Bonucci - Italy

It is always hard for a defender to be included in such a list but Bonucci followed in the footsteps of the likes of Fabio Cannavaro and Paolo Maldini in drawing the plaudits for a superb showing, scoring the equaliser in the quarter-finals against Germany from the penalty spot only to see Italy beaten in a shootout after the 1-1 draw.

Antoine Griezmann - France

The first man since compatriot Michel Platini to score five or more goals in a European Championship tournament, the Atletico Madrid hitman has been in fine form for the hosts. His six goals have led France to the final and he grabbed a brace as they beat Germany 2-0 in the last four.

Dimitri Payet - France

Following a fantastic first season in the Premier League with West Ham, Payet went into the tournament as a fixture in the home side. He scored a last-gasp winner in the tournament opener against Romania to set the tone for Didier Deschamps' men and struck again, this time in the 96th minute, against Albania before adding his third of the tournament in the quarter-final win over Iceland.

Renato Sanches - Portugal

Sanches signed for Bayern Munich ahead of the tournament and the 18-year-old has shown why the Bundesliga giants have made such an investment. Although he only appeared in cameo appearances from the bench in the group stages, the former Benfica midfielder was named man of the match after scoring and playing all 120 minutes in the quarter-final penalty shootout victory over Poland.

FLOPS

Joe Hart - England

Went into the tournament as Roy Hodgson's undisputed number one but the Manchester City goalkeeper did not cover himself in glory, allowing a Bale free-kick to beat him from long-range and then being at fault for Iceland's winning goal in the round of 16 as Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's effort passed through his hands.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Sweden

Fresh from a Ligue 1 campaign where he scored 38 goals, the self-proclaimed legend departed Paris St Germain and looked to lead Sweden to the latter stages of the Euros. Instead he captained the side to just one point, with the 34-year-old not scoring and having just one shot on target as Sweden crashed out at the group stage. International retirement and a move to Manchester United followed.

Thomas Muller - Germany

The Bayern Munich forward has scored 10 World Cup goals during his career but is still to find the back of the net in a European finals. And he was found wanting again when Die Mannschaft needed his goalscoring prowess, missing some good chances, including a penalty in the shootout victory against Italy, and failing to lead the line with any success in the semi-final defeat to France.

Raheem Sterling - England

The winger seemingly had the world at his feet after a near-£50million move to Manchester City last summer but the former Liverpool man suffered a stuttering season, following it up with a shocking Euros. Other than earning the penalty in the defeat to Iceland after a shock recall to the starting XI, the 21-year-old's performances were that ordinary he was jeered by some England fans - as well as being targeted on social media.

Simone Zaza - Italy

There is one main reason why the 25-year-old Juventus forward flopped at the Euros - his shocking penalty miss in the quarter-final shootout defeat to Germany. Having been introduced from the bench in the dying moments of extra-time purely to take a spot-kick, Zaza's peculiar run-up before blazing his effort sky-high over the crossbar will be an enduring memory of the tournament - with the internet awash with Photoshopped mockery and memes.

Source: PA-WIRE


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