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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Euro 2012 Best XI of the Group Stage

For what it's worth I may as well jump on the bandwagon & make my own picks for the team of the tournament up until now:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (ESP)

Defender: Daniele De Rossi (ITA) Pepe (POR) Theodor Gebre Selassie (CZE)

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (ENG) Keith Andrews (IRE) Andrea Pirlo (ITA) Karl Jiracek (CZE) Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (GER) Alan Dzagoev (RUS)


- Casillas, Gomez, Schweinsteiger & Pirlo are all no brainers for the way they've played. All have been massive

- I cannot remember Stevie G playing as well as he has, been quite a long time & it is indeed a welcome sight for all Liverpool supporters like myself. He has been a force for England, despite playing in a far deeper role than he is ideally suited for.  He's assisted on 3 of England's 5 goals so far, including a perfectly placed cross that Andy Carroll's headed home. Certainly hoping this is a harbinger of big things from the captain this year.

- For the record, I put Keith Andrews in my team as he was Ireland's best player, & I wanted at least 1 Irishman in the team. Andrews was one of two, the other being Sean St. ledger, that put in a worthy performance for the Republic at the Euros, & should be recognized.

- Defence was kind of a crap shoot, very little separating the best performance at the tournament so far. Pepe is not a particular person. I think he's an SOB personally, but he has been uncharacteristically histrionic-free, which has given us the opportunity to appreciate the world  class talent that he is. Been Portugal's best player of the Euros so far.

- De Rossi play has been magnificent, but when you consider that he is playing out of position, as he is a natural holding midfielder, it puts him in an even more remarkable light. Was massive in the game vs Ireland, the biggest thorn in the side of the Boys in Green

- Gebre Selassie has been a revelation. Been rock solid on defence, often going up against his opponent's best midfielders, & shutting them down. He's also been a factor on offence, setting up the winning goal for the Czech's in their triumph over Greece. He currently plays in the Czech league, but I suspect clubs in bigger leagues will be lining up to acquire his services after the Euros.

All in all a talented team, if somewhat biased in favour of my guys, but screw it, this is who I thought belonged on here. Hope you liked it.

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