Euro 2020 has already produced enough thrills, spills and drama to make us forget that we had to wait five years for its arrival.
Euro 2020 nears the end
It seems like an eternity ago that Eder smashed home his iconic goal at the Stade de France, but the European Championships have made a triumphant return this summer with goals galore.
And the endgame of the tournament is arguably the most open it’s been in years with the world and European champions as well as FIFA’s number-one rated nation having all been eliminated.
Resurgent Spain and Italy sides will contest one of the semi-finals this week, while an exciting England outfit are due to lock horns with a heroic Denmark squad in the other final-four fixture.
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Euro 2020’s top performers
And although the history of Euro 2020 will ultimately be decided across those remaining three games, football fans have already digested the vast majority of the summer’s action.
As such, we can all form a pretty good idea about who the best performers have been regardless of whether England, Spain, Italy or Denmark lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy at Wembley Stadium.
No doubt some big names are already coming to mind, but park those thoughts for a second because us mere mortals – otherwise known as humans – don’t stack up against the statistics.
UEFA’s ‘Performance Zone’ rankings
We are, of course, joking because data in football is by no means everything, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting to look at UEFA’s official statistical ranking of Euro 2020 players.
UEFA have collaborated to create ‘The FedEx Performance Zone’ for this summer’s tournament, using a complex algorithm, which you can read more on here, to rank players with a points system.
UEFA Nations League clashes, European Qualifiers and international friendlies were all fed into the system at the start and now Euro 2020 displays have been used to produce the current results.
As such, we have, in effect, the top 20 players at the tournament so far based on UEFA statistics and you can check out how they line up ahead of the semi-finals down below:
20. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Denmark)
19. Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
18. Emil Forsberg (Sweden)
17. Manuel Akanji (Switzerland)
16. Thorgan Hazard (Belgium)
15. Pablo Sarabia (Spain)
14. Luka Modric (Croatia)
13. Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
12. Thomas Meunier (Belgium)
11. Aymeric Laporte (Spain)
10. Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)
9. Raheem Sterling (England)
8. Mykola Matviyenko (Ukraine)
7. Steven Zuber (Switzerland)
6. Robin Gosens (Germany)
5. Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine)
4. Marco Verratti (Italy)
3. Joakim Mæhle (Denmark)
2. Patrick Schick (Czech Republic)
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Ronaldo rolls back the years
It really is astonishing that Ronaldo is getting the better of his world-class contemporaries even though he’s now closer to his 40th birthday than his 30th.
Don’t get it twisted, the Portuguese superstar must have brought remarkable data into the tournament given his stunning record for Portugal, but make no mistake that he also shone when it mattered most.
Besides, five goals means that Euro 2020 marked Ronaldo’s most prolific return at a major international competition, which is all the crazier when you consider he only played four games.
And considering just how brilliant the likes of Verratti, Mæhle and fellow free-scoring forward Schick have been across UEFA’s flagship competition, it really speaks volumes that Ronaldo tops them all.
It’s almost as though he’s one of the greatest footballers in history or something…