Telegraph Sport’s stable of football writers have selected their best players at Euro 2021 and from that we have calculated the definitive list of the 50 brightest stars in action across Europe over the next month. Today we count down from 20 to 11, and the final 10 players will be revealed on Friday.
- Ranking the best players at Euro 2021, part one – 50-41
- Ranking the best players at Euro 2021, part two – 40-31
- Ranking the best players at Euro 2021, part three – 30-21
20. Frenkie de Jong (Holland)
The golden boy of Dutch football. De Jong is an artist on the pitch, showing bravery on the ball to create space and then passing with intelligence. If the 24-year-old can take control of games, slowing the tempo down and then speeding it up at will, then Holland could be a fearsome opponent. Watch out for his “scanning” ability — De Jong is always checking over his shoulder to see what’s coming, so he almost never gets caught on the ball.
19. Ilkay Gundogan (Germany)
Gundogan was one of the best players in Europe this season, scoring an impressive 17 goals in 46 games for Manchester City and arguably doing more than any other player to drive them to the Premier League title. He will look to knit together the German attack and play the killer passes to their speedy forwards.
18. Joshua Kimmich (Germany)
Kimmich is ultra-competitive and ultra-dependable, whether he is playing at right-back or in central midfield. The 26-year-old is without question one of the world’s best defensive midfield players, and he is the man who sets the standards within the Germany team. An authoritative leader with a combative spirit, as well as the obvious technical skill.
17. Mason Mount (England)
It is hard to believe that Mount’s inclusion in the England team caused so many grumbles at the start of last season. No one is questioning the Chelsea midfielder now, as his game has reached new heights since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge. A Champions League-winning attacking midfielder with a superb defensive attitude.
Mason Mount has experienced a significant boost since Thomas Tuchel's arrival at Chelsea
16. Bruno Fernandes (Portugal)
Fernandes almost single-handedly changed Manchester United’s collective mentality following his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020. He produced a sensational return of 28 goals and 18 assists last season, confirming his status as one of the most effective attacking players in the European game.
15. Youri Tielemans (Belgium)
Tielemans is the complete midfielder, capable of creating goals, scoring goals and stopping them with his defensive awareness in midfield. The 24-year-old will look to provide the service that allows Belgium’s array of attacking players to thrive. Tactically astute and technically superb, Tielemans can do it all.
Euro 2021 TEAM GUIDE
14. Raphael Varane (France)
Perhaps the most physically impressive defender in world football. You cannot outrun Varane, nor can you outmuscle him. The Real Madrid centre-half is a world-class operator, more than happy to deal with long balls or with scurrying strikers who want to dribble past him. He is the leader of the French defence.
13. Toni Kroos (Germany)
Kroos has been one of the world’s top midfielders for years, and that remains the case now. Germany are an unpredictable side, meaning that Kroos might not have the platform he needs to dictate matches, but there is no doubting the passing ability and vision. A multiple Champions League winner and a world champion in 2014.
12. Phil Foden (England)
A remarkable season for Foden has made him one the most exciting players at this tournament. If he can replicate his Manchester City form in an England shirt, then Gareth Southgate’s side will have a chance of unlocking any defence. Vision, speed, finishing, passing, skill, work-rate: Foden has everything you could want from an attacking midfielder. The key will be finding a system that brings the best out of him.
Phil Foden has had a remarkable season for Manchester City
- Phil Foden’s haircut tribute to Paul Gascoigne at Euro 96
11. Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Two enormously disappointing seasons at Real Madrid have caused Hazard’s star to fall, although he remains a formidable prospect when fit. If the 30-year-old can get up to speed in time, he could easily emerge as the tournament’s standout player. The former Chelsea star will be desperate to prove he is not past his best.
Who is on your list of best players at Euro 2021? Tell us in the comments section below