Euro 2016: Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham representatives feature in team of the tournament after first round of fixtures

 
Joe Hall
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Germany v Ukraine - Group C: UEFA Euro 2016
Toni Kroos coolly dictated play for Bayern Munich (Source: Getty)

The first round of Euro 2016 fixtures have come to an end and now every team has played, odds have shifted, wayward pre-tournament predictions have been hastily denied and new heroes have emerged.

Pre-tournament favourites France, Spain and Germany got off to predictably strong starts, Italy proved their doom merchants wrong and even England raised an eyebrow or two.

Less predictable were the identities of who starred; Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn't have a shot on goal and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo was left to sulk by Iceland, while a teenager from Poland and a striker from a mid-table Premier League club won plaudits.

Read more: Hodgson must build on encouraging displays of Rooney and Lallana to keep England positive for crunch Wales clash

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech, Czech Republic


The 34-year-old came minutes away from shutting out Spain (Source: Getty)

Spain fired 18 shots at the Czech Republic’s goal on Monday afternoon but only one of them — Gerard Pique’s 87th minute header — found the net thanks to an evergreen Petr Cech.

The Arsenal stopper produced his best Gandalf-against-Balrog impression in front of the reigning champions, not only denying goal-bound efforts from Alvaro Morata, Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba, but making more passes (34) any of his teammates too.

Left-back: Ben Davies, Wales


Just in time: Davies intervenes to stop Hamsik scoring one of the goals of the tournament (Source: Getty)

Playing on the left of a back three rather than as an out and out wing-back, Davies was the standout performer in a sturdy Welsh defence with his last-ditch covering run and sliding block off the line to prevent Marek Hamsik from opening the scoring for Slovakia as important as either Gareth Bale's or Hal Robson-Kanu’s goals.

Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci, Italy


Mutual appreciation: Bonucci's incredible long-ball set up Giaccherini to score for Italy (Source: Getty)

With midfielders Andrea Pirlo overlooked and Marco Verratti injured, centre-back Leonardo Bonucci stepped up as Italy's deep-lying playmaker-in-chief against Belgium, finding Emanuele Giaccherini with a pinpoint long ball to open the scoring.

As well as launching attacks from deep, the veteran centre-back led his side in interceptions and blocks as Italy's BBC back three (Bonucci, [Andrea] Barzagli and [Georgio] Chiellini) reminded Europe of their durability.

Centre-back: Jerome Boateng, Germany


Boateng's goal-line clearance rivalled Ben Davies' for athletic ability (Source: Getty)

Germany's Manuel Neuer acts like a sweeper at times, allowing Jerome Boateng and his defensive colleagues to push up high and feed balls into the midfield, something the Bayern man did with aplomb against Ukraine. Die Mannschaft didn't always look convincing when dealing with set pieces or crosses, but Boateng dealt with a rare mistake in the best way possible with an athletic clearance on the line to save himself from an unwanted own-goal.

Right-back: Kyle Walker, England


Only wayward Lallana finishing cost Kyle Walker notching a couple of assists for England (Source: Getty)

England formed a furious fusion of Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino's high-intensity pressing game on their right flank through Adam Lallana and Walker, who remorsefully bombed forward, repeatedly got the better of Russian left-back Georgi Shchennikov and became the first Three Lions player since Steve McManaman in 1996 to notch six successful dribbles in a game.

Left-midfield: Bartosz Kapustka, Poland


Wonderkid: Kapustka is the youngest player in the Poland squad (Source: Getty)

Bartosz Kapustka was the least valuable player in Poland's squad before the tournament started, yet despite having a market value of just £1.9m, the 19-year-old stole the show away from stars Robert Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik and Grzegorz Krychowiak against Northern Ireland. A central midfielder by trade, Kapustka was a tireless presence on the left hand side of Poland's midfield, driving his time forward against a stubborn opposition.

Read more: The most valuable players and teams at Euro 2016

Centre-midfield: Toni Kroos, Germany


Kroos control: The Real Madrid man dictated play for the World Champions (Source: Getty)

No midfielder has controlled a game as well as Toni Kroos dictated proceedings against Ukraine. Always precise, always in space, always aware and always reliable for an expert set piece delivery, Kroos has already marked himself out as the cog that keeps this Germany machine running.

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Centre-midfield: Laszlo Kleinheisler, Hungary


Happy days: Kleinheisler set up Hungary's first goal at a major international tournament for 30 years. (Source: Getty)

The 22-year-old starred in what was just his fifth cap for his country, acting as architect for Hungary's opening goal with a smart one-two with Adam Szalai. Undaunted by being up against Bayern Munich maestro David Alaba, Kleinheisler took home the man of the match award and received a standing ovation for a performance which proved Hungary have the technical ability to match their team spirit.

Right-midfield: Antonio Candreva, Italy


Candreva skips past Jan Vertonghen in Italy's win over Belgium (Source: Getty)

The versatile and indefatigable Candreva is a dream fit for Antonio Conte's tactical team and was at the centre of the most impressive win from any side so far, making more passes than any other player with 59, the most notable of which was a sumptuous floated cross gratefully smashed home by Graziano Pelle.

Playmaker: Dimitri Payet, France


We've got Payet: The West Ham makes it into the tournament thanks to a his thunderbolt match-winner (Source: Getty)

Scorer of the goal of the tournament so far, Dimitri Payet lit up the curtain-raiser with a trademark curler from range to give France a crucial win just when it looked like many of his more high-profile teammates' nerves would cost them against Romania.

Striker: Graziano Pelle, Italy


Grazi Pelle: The No9's goal against Belgium was just his sixth goal for his country (Source: Getty)

Pelle's pitch-perfect swivel and volley was as aesthetically pleasing a match-winner as you're likely to see and was just reward for an astute performance leading the line for Conte's side. The Southampton striker brought his teammates into play and provided a reliable outlet whenever they were under pressure, winning seven aerial duals — more than any forward player at the tournament so far.

Subs: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Gerard Pique (Spain), Cristian Sapunaru (Romania), Wayne Rooney (England), Ivan Perisic (Croatia), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Olivier Giroud (France).