Euro 2016 has reached its final stage as hosts France are set to face Portugal at the Stade de France in a couple of days time. The tournament has been filled with brilliant goals, comebacks, upsets and fairy-tale runs. Many stars have stepped up to do their best for their teams. However, a few failed to step up at the big stage despite coming into the tournament with a lot of promise. These aren’t necessarily the worst players in the tournament. But they all have the potential to be big and they failed miserably. Here’s a look at the Worst XI of the tournament.
Joe Hart (England)
The England Number 1 had a disastrous time in France. He managed only 1 clean sheet in 4 games but what was more appalling was his weak shot stopping technique. Against Wales, Hart allowed a well struck but a routine save sneak past him into the goal and in the R-16 clash against Iceland, he made a complete mess of a Kolbeinn Sigthorsson shot that crawled in from under his arm and condemned his side to an early exit from the tournament. His position at City is now far from certain with Guardiola looking to revamp the squad.
Danny Rose (England)
Danny Rose did not play particularly bad in France. But much was expected from the young left back and he failed to live up to the promise. He was outjumped by Berezutski for the Russian equaliser. His crosses into the box were poor as well. He was left exposed defensively by Sterling’s poor tracking back and hence he could not contribute much in attack as well. He is a player who is capable of much more and perhaps the change in management will bring out the best in him. For now though, he was pretty disappointing.
Martin Skrtel (Slovakia)
The Slovakian captain was a part of a leaky defense that conceded 6 goals in 4 matches. While it’s difficult to blame him for any goal in particular, Skrtel was pretty erratic in his play. He was lucky to be on the pitch after his elbow on Jonathan Williams somehow went unnoticed by the officials. He put in a solid shift vs England that earned them qualification. Against Germany in the R-16, he was completely lost. Shoved Gomez for the penalty which Ozil missed and went missing for their 2nd and 3rd goals. As a captain, he failed to lead by example.
Vasili Berezutski (Russia)
The Russian skipper brought Russia back into the contest with a late equaliser against England after a poor game. But Russia never took advantage of that as they conceded 6 goals in just 3 games and were knocked out of a group in which many expected them to qualify from. Injuries played a part in this, but with close to 100 caps for his country, Berezutski failed to inspire and rally his team behind him.
Stephen Lichtsteiner (Switzerland)
Lichtsteiner has won the Scudetto 5 years in a row for Juventus. He is, without doubt, one of the best right backs in Europe. But leading his country at a major tournament for the first time, the 32-year-old was far from his usual self and appeared very nervy. His cynical pull on Alexandru Chipciu in the box gave Romania a penalty which they converted and put the Swiss dreams in danger. He contributed very little in attack too. It wasn’t his worst showing, but it was far from his best.
Arda Turan (Turkey)
Another skipper in this list. Barcelona signed him last summer, there was a general optimism that he would work out well for the team. He was a regular at Atletico as they won the league and reached the CL final. He also guided his team as they secured a place in Euro 2016. But things have gone downhill since then. His role at Barcelona is more or less bit-part. And after a couple of uninspiring performances at the tournament, his own fans booed him. Not a great tournament for the skipper.
David Alaba (Austria)
He’s considered one of the most versatile midfielders of this generation. Guardiola even said “David Alaba is our God. He has played almost all ten positions!”. When the draw for Euro 2016 was completed, he would have been fairly pleased and optimistic of qualification to the knockout phases. But only 1 point from 3 games in a relatively simple group showed that the Bayern Munich ace simply failed to slot in at central midfield and ended his brilliant club season with national team disappointment.
Marouane Fellaini (Belgium)
Now, no one expected Fellaini to be a massive success at the Euros. No one expected that he would turn up with a ridiculous hairdo too. But he had the chance to prove everyone wrong when he was surprisingly named in the team sheet vs Italy. On paper, Belgium had too much quality for Italy. On the field, it was not so. He turned in a pedestrian display and failed to have much impact in the air too. After the loss, he was dropped to the bench and did not start again in the tournament. He was brought on against Wales to stabilize the midfield, but he contributed very less and even missed a few great chances to score for his team.
Raheem Sterling (England)
Just like Fellaini, no one expected Sterling to shine at the Euros. That was probably because no one expected to him even start. To everyone’s surprise, Sterling started 3 out of the 4 games in another disappointing tournament for the 3 lions. He struggled to beat his man and none of his crosses reached the desired target. Why Hogdson kept picking him over Vardy is one unexplained mystery. He has time on his hands and he will eventually come good for England. But as far as Euro 2016 is concerned, he flopped big time.
Harry Kane (England)
He won the EPL Golden Boot last season and was supposed to be the country’s talisman at France. But Harry Kane simply failed to turn up. He was too static and his shooting was wayward. Perhaps he was still exhausted after a gruelling season for the Spurs. Perhaps Hogdson didn’t pick a team that suited him. Nevertheless, he failed to live up the Hurri-Kane hype quite miserably. The only things worse than the logic to make him to take corners and free kicks were his corners and free kicks, all of which missed the intended target by miles. Like Sterling, he too has time to improve. But his major tournament debut was a major disappointment.
Thomas Muller (Germany)
The chances of a German making it into a Worst XI of any tournament is very less. The chances of that being Thomas Muller is even slimmer. But the German international showed nothing of the form that won his country the world cup two years back. He was subdued in attack, scuffed his shots often and took a woeful penalty which was easily saved by Buffon in the quarterfinal clash. He has 10 goals in two World Cups so far and none at the Euros, yet. Considering how well Germany played, many believe that they would be playing the finals had their forward even been in decent form.
Here’s how they line up:
Worst XI (4-3-3)
Lichtsteiner Skrtel Berezutski Rose
Muller Kane Sterling
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