Football

Payet and Ozil would be key to their sides' hopes.....

Three players that shone during the opening week of Euro 2016

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After much anticipation, Euro 2016 is finally underway and it hasn't disappointed.

The competition has delivered some edge of the seat action, with each of the 24 teams having played at least once so far.

The Euros showcase some of the biggest names in world football, and some of them have certainly stepped up to the plate.

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Here we take a look at three top performers after the first round of matches.

Dimitri Payet (France)

What a season this lad has had.

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From being a mercurial, but inconsistent player, to one of the very best in Europe, Payet has certainly come a long way. 

The Frenchman directly played a part in 21 of West Ham United's league goals this term and has proved to be an absolute bargain at £10.4 million.

Payet's impressive performances saw him nominated for the PFA Player of the Year Award, alongside the likes of  Harry Kane and Riyad Mahrez. 

France v Romania - Group A: UEFA Euro 2016

Payet seems to have taken his club form into the Euros, with an outstanding goal against Romania in the opening fixture.

The former-Marseille attacker has established himself as the main creator for the host nation, and will be pivotal in their hopes of winning the coveted trophy for a record third time.

Mesut Ozil (Germany)

Next up on the list is Payet's Premier League counterpart Mesut Ozil.

Like Payet, Ozil was in sublime form for Arsenal throughout the league campaign, bagging 19 assists - only one short of Thierry Henry's longstanding record. The former-Real Madrid player was instrumental as Arsenal finished second for the first time in over 10 years.

Germany v Ukraine - Group C: UEFA Euro 2016

Despite criticism over his apparent lack of enthusiasm, Ozil remains the player to make the difference for Germany in tight games. The German playmaker has exceptional vision, as he showed by setting up Bastian Schweinsteiger with a brilliant assist against Ukraine.

Gareth Bale (Wales)

Gareth Bale is fresh off winning his second Champions League title with Real Madrid, but would be hoping for continental glory with his national team this time around.

The Welshman has flourished under the freedom given to him by Chris Coleman. The former-Tottenham Hotspur forward scored seven of his side's 11 goals in qualifying and directly contributed to 82 percent of his side's goals in the qualifiers - more than any other player at the Euros.

Wales v Slovakia - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016

Bale is undoubtedly Wales' biggest threat - a fact he displayed by converting a sublime free kick against Slovakia in the opening round.

Bale has been tipped for greatness by many in recent years, and he just might achieve it with Wales this summer.

Who has made a standout performance for YOU so far? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Euro 2016
West Ham United
Real Madrid
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Dimitri Payet

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