Pogba features among five shouts for Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament
Robbie Purves | June 1, 2016
With Euro 2016 fast approaching, Europe’s finest talent is preparing to descend upon France.
As the nations arrive, they bring with them some of the world’s best players all looking to write themselves into the history books.
The likes of Paul Pogba, Thomas Muller and Harry Kane will travel to France, but who is likely to be named Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament?
Paul Pogba (France)
Les Bleus poster boy Pogba is one of the best midfielders in world football and, at the young of 23, will get even better. The Juventus dynamo has enjoyed a trophy laden career since leaving Manchester United four years ago, winning four Scudetti in as many campaigns.
Pogba finished joint top of the assist chart in Serie A last season with 12, and recently displayed his exceptional eye for a pass by sublimely setting up Olivier Giroud in a Euro 2016 warm-up friendly against Cameroon.
The former Red Devils prodigy has a penchant for the spectacular and has been nicknamed ‘Pogboom’ in Italy for his explosive style and energy on the pitch. A home soil tournament is a superb chance for Pogba to shine and show the world just what an exceptional he is, Coral have him an awesome 8/1 to be named Player of the Tournament in July.
Thomas Muller (Germany)
Reigning world champions Germany finished top of their hotly contested qualifying Group D, with Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller netting nine in as many matches.
Since the international retirement of Miroslav Klose in 2014, Muller has be given the weighty responsibility of filling his former teammate’s scoring boots.
Muller has risen to the goalscoring challenge and is one of the first names on Joachim Low’s team-sheet, occupying a right flank berth for Germany with Mario Gotze playing in a false nine position regularly during Euro 2016 qualifying. Despite this, Muller still manages to be prolific – netting an incredible 32 times for his club in all competitions this term, mainly from attacking midfield.
Many look at Muller and cannot understand why he is so highly rated by those in the game. Germany’s star man isn’t particularly good at beating a man one-on-one or dribbling, but consistently finds, space, time and goals. Muller’s biggest attributes are his understanding of space and knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Speaking before the 2014 World Cup, Low commented that he is ‘impervious to pressure’. With this in mind, and Muller looking to build upon a strong World Cup showing, the forward is 10/1 to be named Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament.
Antoine Griezmann (France)
Atletico Madrid marksman Antoine Griezmann has enjoyed the best scoring campaign of his career, netting 33 in all competitions.
The France forward is a deadly finisher from both in and out the box, and loves to counterattack at speed. Griezmann also has a proven track record of scoring goals in high pressure situations; for instance, he netted in second leg of Atleti’s Champions League semi-final, bagged a brace against Barcelona at home and notched one past Real Madrid in an away win.
With this in mind, he should not be fazed by the huge pressure playing on home-soil can bring. The last time France hosted the Euros they won it in 1984, with Michel Platini emerging as the nation’s hero. Griezmann is 10/1 to be named Player of the Tournament and become France’s 2016 legend.
Harry Kane (England)
Tottenham’s Harry Kane has experienced an amazing couple of seasons after breaking through to the White Hart Lane first-team. The forward has recorded an incredible 64 goals in all competitions over the last two campaigns, and looks set to shine at his first senior international tournament.
Kane is a strong finisher, excellent with his head and dangerous from outside the box. The striker looks likely to be England’s attacking focal point in France, with fast incisive players surrounding him such as Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy.
Due to his exceptional movement and pacey players around him, Kane looks set to shine in France and tear apart Russia’s ageing defence in the Three Lions’ first Group B game.
With Kane having fired Spurs to their greatest-ever Premier League finish, Roy Hogdson’s side will have a distinct Tottenham presence through its spine. Dele Alli is likely to make an appearance and Eric Dier has impressed in recent friendlies with his solid screening of the back four – no doubt helping Kane comfortably slot in up top. The forward is 16/1 to emerge from Euro 2016 as Player of the Tournament.
Gareth Bale (Wales)
Fresh off the back of winning his second Champions League trophy with Real Madrid, Gareth Bale will now hope to make an impact in France with Wales.
The Dragons winger has registered 58 goals and 46 assists since arriving in Madrid, and confirmed he’s not just the Real deal for club, but also country. Bale drove Chris Coleman’s side to qualification, scoring seven vital goals that propelled his nation to the Euros – three of which were game winners.
Former Tottenham star Bale became Wales’ youngest-ever senior international aged 16-years-old in 2006, and will be eager to mark his 10 year mark with the national team with an outstanding performance at the competition. Bale is 40/1 to be named Player of the Tournament.