Barça are one of the teams contributing most players to the Euros Round of 16. Seven of the eight Blaugrana players called up by their respective national teams will be playing in this round, with only Arda Turan’s Turkey being eliminated so far. The paths of the Azulgrana players have been varied. From the two […]
23 de junio de 2016 - Sportyou
Barça are one of the teams contributing most players to the Euros Round of 16. Seven of the eight Blaugrana players called up by their respective national teams will be playing in this round, with only Arda Turan’s Turkey being eliminated so far.
The paths of the Azulgrana players have been varied. From the two MVP awards Andrés Iniesta has received to the failure of Arda Turan with the Turkish team, or Marc-André Ter Stegen occupying a place on the substitute’s bench. The Spain team is the one with most Barça players in its ranks, and the part four of them have played in their qualification for the knockout stage has been key.
Gerard Piqué’s goal in the opening game against the Czech Republic, or the performances of Andrés Iniesta, with two MVP awards, have been the outstanding points in the recently-finished group stage. Jordi Alba has also shone, especially in the clash with Turkey, when the left-back from Hospitalet provided the assist for Morata to score. The least outstanding player in this initial stage of the tournament has been Sergio Busquets. He has not looked as comfortable as he has on other occasions, but his contribution is key for the Spanish side and his pass completion rate of 95% is a guarantee of success.
Iván Rakitic, on the other hand, has been one of the most outstanding Culés so far. The midfielder, playing a much freer role than he does at Barça, where defensive duties are concerned, has led his country into the easier side of the draw by virtue of them winning Group D. Only Wales or Belgium stand in the way of the Croatians on the road to the final.
From being ‘missing’ at Barça, Thomas Vermaelen has found his form and helped to strengthen the Belgian defence. The absence of Kompany has opened up a place for him in the starting line-up and he has gone through to the next stage with Belgium.
Lastly, the sad side of Barça’s participation in the tournament has been the roles played, respectively, by Arda Turan and Marc-André Ter Stegen. The Turk has sunk in the mire along with his national team and he has even been booed by Turkish fans. After a bad season as an Azulgrana, he has been unable to turn things around with Turkey. The goalkeeper’s situation is different. Despite Germany qualifying for the next stage, the undisputed first-choice status of Manuel Neuer has closed any doors for him in these Euros.
Eight Real Madrid players in the Round of 16
In the case of Real Madrid, eight of their players will be in the Round of 16. In the Spain side, the captain Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vázquez and Álvaro Morata, recently recalled from Juve, are all present. Both the centre-back and the young forward are part of Del Bosque’s starting line-up, and the ‘number 7’ has contributed with his three goals to ‘la Roja’ qualifying for the next round.
Morata is the joint top scorer in the competition, along with his club mate Gareth Bale. The Welshman, undisputed leader of his national team, is living the dream as his country make a deep impression in this, their first ever, appearance at the Euros.
For Croatia, Mateo Kovacic and, especially, Luka Modric, have managed to win their group, ahead of the current tournament champions, Spain. The Croatian ‘number 10’ has played a very important role in the midfield for his country.
Though this is not turning out to be the easiest of tournaments for Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo has done his duty and the team are now in the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed countries. His back-heeled goal against Hungary will be long remembered and he is already thinking of how to improve the way Fernando Santos’ side play in the knockout stage. Pepe is also a first-choice player for the Portuguese coach.
The last Madridista on this list is Toni Kroos, the brain behind and the boss of the German midfield. Löw’s side will meet Slovakia to play for a place in the Quarter-finals.
All the teams still in the competition will now rest until Saturday 25th, when football will be back and the Round of 16 will commence.