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Euro 2020 – The story so far…

This summer it’s all about the football, and so far Euro 2020 has not disappointed. The group stages have provided us with brilliant games between some of the giants in international football.

The tournament has not been short of drama, with some of the underdogs performing admirably and causing upsets to some of the favourites in the competition.

There has been individual brilliance, incredible goals, heartbreak and controversial decisions throughout the competition.

UNIfied Sports Editor, Oliver Leonard, looks at the highs and lows of the tournament so far.

Great (and not so great) Britain:

Before the start of the tournament, hopes were high for England, Scotland and Wales. However, during the group stage some impressed rather more than others.

Wales finished second place in what was a tricky group that included Italy, who are now one of the favourites to win the tournament.

England and Scotland shared group D and whilst Scotland were able to frustrate England in a 0-0 draw. This turned out to be the only result they were able to celebrate, as they finished bottom of the group with just one point.

England ended up topping group D with seven points. But with scoring just two goals all tournament and some lackluster performances, England must dramatically improve to make it past the Germans in the round of 16.

Christian Eriksen:

For all the wrong reasons, the most memorable moment of the tournament so far, was the incident involving Christian Eriksen in Denmark’s first group stage match.

The footballing world stood still as the Danish talisman suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.

The horrific scenes showed Eriksen collapsing and having to be resuscitated in front of a packed-out stadium.

Thankfully, due to the brilliant work of the medical staff and even some of the Denmark players, Eriksen survived and has recently been discharged from hospital.

Despite the huge loss of their star player, Denmark were able to finish second in their group and will face Wales in the round of 16.

Surprise packages:

Who doesn’t love an underdog? During Euro 2020 so far, a few teams have performed levels above what was expected of them.

Hungary performed admirably in what was by far the toughest group of the competition, holding both France and Germany to a draw.

Even though they did not qualify for the knockout stages, they were just five minutes away from knocking out Germany.

The reception the Hungarian players received from their fans after the game, proved they did the whole country proud.

Arguably, the most impressive performances of the group stage came from Sweden.

They were able to top group E, which contained the likes of Spain and Poland, without losing a match.

Sweden now face Ukraine in the round of 16 and could surprise a few more during the final weeks of the tournament.

Biggest Disappointments:

Some teams who were predicted to have success at the start of the tournament, did not show up at all during the group stages.

Germany and Portugal both made it through the group of death but did not perform to the standard that many expected.

If it wasn’t for some individual moments from key players, one of them could have easily not made it to the knock-out rounds.

By far, the biggest disappointment of the tournament, was Turkey.

In the run up to Euro 2020, Turkey were in fine form, and had multiple players performing brilliantly for their domestic clubs. However, they finished bottom of their group, without scoring a single point.

Individual stars of the round:

When looking at individual performances during Euro 2020, it is hard to ignore the goal stats.

With Cristiano Ronaldo sitting top of the pile with five goals already this tournament, he must be considered one of the standout performers so far.

However, a special mention must be given to a few other players too.

Emil Forsberg has been the talisman for Sweden so far in this competition and is a big reason as to why they have been so successful.

Also, the Italian captain Giorgio Chiellini has lead them with passion and experience, which has guided them to an unbeaten start and making them one of the favourites to win the whole thing.

Goal of the round:

It may be too early to decide the goal of the tournament. But the Patrik Schick halfway line stunner against Scotland is going to take some beating!

Looking ahead to the knockouts:

The round of 16 fixtures features some mouthwatering games, including the likes of England vs Germany and Portugal vs Belgium.

Knockout football can be almost impossible to predict, but England fans can start to get excited as a win over Germany would give them a favourable path to the final.

There is sure to be plenty of twists and turns in the remainder of the tournament, and you won’t want to miss it!

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