It’s hard to believe that Euro 2020 is only three games away from completion.
Euro 2020’s endgame
Having waited half a decade between European Championships due to the ongoing global situation, one can’t help acknowledging the fact that we’re down to the semi-finals without a tinge of sadness.
However, all good things must come to an end and we can rest assured that although there are only a trio of matches still to play that they are indeed the most important three of all.
And it really is all to play for with England, Denmark, Spain and Italy having exceeded their nation’s expectations to come within touching distance of lifting the Henri Delaunay Trophy at Wembley.
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Denmark, Italy, Spain and England
As such, here at GIVEMESPORT, we wanted to look at how the four semi-finalists are lining up ahead of the biggest fixtures of all using the method we know best: ranking their players.
So, yes, that is including players who might not necessarily be able to play in Tuesday and Wednesday’s huge clashes and thus, the hero that is Christian Eriksen will make an appearance.
It’s worth noting that our selections are purely the opinion of your humble author today, which is no more or less legitimate than your own verdict on the players that, by the way, we’d loved to hear.
Ranking Euro 2020 semi-finalists
But for now, check out how we’ve ranked all 102 Euro 2020 semi-finalists across tiers ranging from ‘bench warmer’ to ‘best of the best’ down below:
Aaron Ramsdale, Alex Meret, Ben White, Gaetano Castrovilli, Frederik Rønnow, Nicolai Boilesen, Mathias Jørgensen, Anders Christiansen
Every squad has its stragglers and there’s absolutely no shame in that. In fact, many of these players weren’t actually called up to the original 26-man cohort and were deployed to fill in for injuries or absences.
That doesn’t make them poor players by any stretch of the imagination, but in the context of the world-class talent we’re talking about here, we can’t escape the fact that none of them are playing a major role at Euro 2020.
Does a job
Sam Johnstone, Andreas Cornelius, Conor Coady, Salvatore Sirigu, Giacomo Raspadori, Jonas Lössl, Mathias Jensen, Andreas Skov Olsen, Jonas Wind
Cut from a similar cloth to the ‘bench warmers’, these players are amongst the least great of an undoubtedly great bunch of semi-finalists, but bring a bit more to the table if ever their teams were taking a different tact.
Whether that’s through Coady bolstering a back five, Cornelius providing a target man option or Johnstone proving a shot-stopping wizard, this lot all give their nations a unique offering without ever being key protagonists.
Adama Traore, Federico Bernardeschi
The ‘overrated’ category is always a harsh one from which we take no pleasure and it’s worth saying that Traore and Bernardeschi don’t take residence here because they’re in any way bad players who deserve to be slated.
Rather, we struggle to justify the hype surrounding them when they’re playing such a disappointingly minimal role for Spain and Italy squads in the ascendancy. We want more from them because we know they can produce it.
Middle of the road
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Martin Braithwaite, Christian Nørgaard, Jannik Vestergaard, Tyrone Mings, Diego Llorente, Rafael Tolói, Bryan Cristante, Joachim Andersen, Jens Stryger Larsen, Daniel Wass, Yussuf Poulsen
Look, it goes without saying that this tier is dominated by Danish players and many of them have gone above and beyond any of the expectations set for them at Euro 2020, particularly under such difficult circumstances.
That being said, similarly to the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Llorente and Tolói, we’d struggle to bump them into the top half of our rankings when their ability is compared relatively to the world-class stars around them.
Alvaro Morata, Andrea Belotti, Robert Sanchez, Kieran Trippier, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni, Emerson, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Mikkel Damsgaard
Morata?! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, lest we forget that ‘underrated’ isn’t necessarily some sort of declaration that they’re the best footballer of all time and supporters need to wake up to that fact.
Rather, just as Luis Enrique has been saying all summer long, Morata gets panned to a far more extreme degree whenever he makes an error compared to anyone else and doesn’t get anywhere near the level of respect he deserves.
Things are a little less extreme for players such as Sanchez, Trippier, Busquets and so forth, but we’ll bang the drum that they should be given more praise until we’re blue in the face.
Andreas Christensen, Matteo Pessina, Fabian Ruiz, Ben Chilwell, David de Gea, Pablo Sarabia, Reece James, Jordan Pickford, Thomas Delaney, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Simon Kjær, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Kasper Dolberg, Kalvin Phillips, Unai Simon, José Gayà, Dani Olmo, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Alessandro Florenzi, Domenico Berardi, Joakim Mæhle
Why are there so many players in such a complimentary category? Well, it only makes sense that the squads who have reached the semi-finals of a major tournament are stacked with top-quality footballers.
This star-studded tier includes upcoming superstars like Saka and Garcia, established top-class aces like De Gea and Azpilicueta, ever-reliable performers like Rice and Florenzi and everything in between.
Jadon Sancho, Gerard Moreno, Giorgio Chiellini, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish, Jordi Alba, Manuel Locatelli, Ferran Torres, Ciro Immobile, John Stones, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, Lorenzo Insigne, Jordan Henderson, Pau Torres, Mikel Oyarzabal, Leonardo Spinazzola, Nicolo Barella, Federico Chiesa, Christian Eriksen
Oh my goodness me. If you thought the ‘decent’ category was full to the brim with talent, then you haven’t seen the ‘top drawer’ section because Denmark, England, Spain and Italy are swimming in quality.
These are the footballers who we consider to be the standout performers amongst those who don’t quite warrant the coveted ‘world-class’ label, which, for us, essentially means you’re in the sport’s top 30/40 players right now.
But make no mistake that everyone from Sancho to Immobile and Moreno and Spinazzola have it within themselves to climb the tiers to world-class status very soon without breaking a sweat.
Raheem Sterling, Thiago Alcantara, Marco Verratti, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw, Leonardo Bonucci, Marcos Llorente, Harry Maguire, Aymeric Laporte, Pedri, Jorginho, Kasper Schmeichel, Rodri
Do we even need to justify these selections? Everywhere you look there are some of the most talented and capable footballers in the entirety of the beautiful game fighting for glory at Euro 2020.
From the goalkeeping brilliance of Schmeichel and Donnarumma to the defensive solidity of Maguire and Laporte to the midfield majesty of Rodri and Thiago, there is top, top quality for everyone to enjoy.
Best of the best
Yes, that’s right, the best footballer based on both recent form and outright quality within the context of the European game is none other than England’s poacher in chief.
A genuine Ballon d’Or contender on the back of a season that saw him amass an insane 37 Premier League goal contributions, Kane is now firmly in the race for the Euros Golden Boot with three strikes in his last two games.
Is he a more technically able footballer than Thiago? Nope. Did he make a slow start to the Euros? Yup. But is he the best of the best from the remaining semi-finals? You’re damn right he is.
Who will win Euro 2020?
So, there you have it, you can breathe a sigh of relief that our pain-staking ranking of the Spain, Italy, Denmark and England squads has come to a conclusion.
Naturally, it goes without saying that every single player is deserving of our respect and appreciation because making the semi-finals of a major tournament in any capacity is an incredible achievement.
As such, we would love to be proven wrong by some of the players who finished a little lower down the rankings and make no mistake that anything can happen across the remaining three matches.
Half the beauty of the Euros is it’s propensity for seismic shocks, which the Danes know all-too well from their 1992 triumph, so we can’t wait to see what thrills, spills and drama are still to come.