The European Championship is just around the corner and there will be 51 matches that will be watched by hundreds of thousands fans in France as well as millions around the world.
This will be France’s third time hosting the tournament after the inaugural tournament in 1960 and also in 1984. There will be ten cities involved throughout the month, which include Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
FourthOfficial.com will take a look at the best player from all 24 nations:
Elseid Hysad (ALBANIA) – Group A
The Napoli right-back played an integral part to help the club finish second in the Serie A this season after featuring in 37 out of 38 matches. He is a no-nonsense type of player and will need to be at his utmost best to to guide his country into the next round of the tournament.
Paul Pogba (FRANCE) – Group A
The FIFA U-20 World Cup and Golden Ball winner has proved over the years that he has the technique, vision and power to be one of the best players in the world one day. He is blessed to have the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi, Ngolo Kante and Anthony Martial alongside him to reduce his burden, which will allow him to be the one and only Paul Pogba.
Vlad Chiricheș (ROMANIA) – Group A
The Romanian national team only conceded two goals in nine qualifying matches and that was because of the defensive partnership of Dragoș Grigore and Vlad Chiricheș. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur man will need to be on song to stop his team from conceding goals.
Xherdan Shaqiri (SWITZERLAND) – Group A
The 5-foot-7 winger has destroyed defences over the past few years and is gunning to upset France in their own home with his pace and trickery. He has won a number of titles in his club career and will be looking to add a prestigious Euro 2016 trophy to his collection with the help of Arsenal’s new signing Granit Xhaka, Ricardo Rodriguez and Breel Embolo.
Harry Kane (ENGLAND) – Group B
The English Premier League topscorer (25 goals) will be looking forward to compete in his first major tournament for his country after scoring five goals in eleven matches. He links up play well between his teammates and has predatory instincts that not many strikers have.
Artem Dzyuba (RUSSIA) – Group B
The Zenit St. Petersburg forward was prolific in Russia’s qualifying campaign after ending up as the fourth-highest goalscorer with 8 goals, only behind huge names such as Robert Lewandowski, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thomas Muller. He has a great chance of upsetting the bigger names in the group as well as in the tournament with his insane goalscoring abilities.
Marek Hamšík (SLOVAKIA) – Group B
The Slovakian captain has been instrumental for club and country this season and will up for the challenge when his side goes up against Wales in the first game. He guided Napoli to a second place finish in the Serie A and was the highest goalscorer in Group C with five goals.
Gareth Bale (WALES) – Group B
The Welsh wizard has only spent three seasons with Real Madrid and already won the UEFA Champions League twice and scored more goals in three years than in six years at Tottenham Hotspur. His inhuman speed and strength will inspire the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ashley Williams to write off the dark-horse title given to Welsh national team.
Mesut Özil (GERMANY) – Group C
The Provider, as he is known, has always been the main link between the midfield and the strikeforce for both club and country and proved himself on many occasions with Germany after finishing the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros with the highest assists. The four-time German Player of the Year will play an important role for the world champions in France.
Steven Davis (NORTHERN IRELAND) – Group C
The Southampton midfielder has been one of the most under-rated players in the English Premier League this season. He has featured over 80 matches for his native land and will captain his team in the UEFA European Championship for the first time in history.
Robert Lewandowski (POLAND) – Group C
The Polish talisman has been vital for Adam Nawalka’s side after ending up as the highest goalscorer in the continent with 13 goals to his name, which matched the record set by David Healy in 2008. The odds are for him to end up as the topscorer at the end of the finals.
Andriy Yarmolenko (UKRAINE) – Group C
The idea of playing without powerful and versatile player in the Ukrainian squad is unthinkable because of his incredible form in the qualifying stages. He must prove himself worthy with the help of his teammates to stand a chance of competing with the big guns.
Luka Modric (CROATIA) – Group D
The central midfield partnership of Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric has been regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the upcoming European Championship and it is partially due to the two-time Champions League winner’s freedom to express himself at anytime on the pitch.
Petr Čech (CZECH REPUBLIC) – Group D
The four-time Golden Glove winner has 119 caps under his belt and helped his country top Group A in the qualifiers. He needs to step up his game to stop the likes of Mario Mandzukic, Alvaro Morata and Burak Yilmaz from scoring against him to stay in the competition.
Andrés Iniesta (SPAIN) – Group D
The two-time European Championship winner is the heartbeat of the Spanish team. He has won 30 trophies in his career, including the World Cup in 2010 after scoring the only goal in the final against Netherlands, which makes him the most decorated Spaniard of all time. His creative and intelligent reading of the game will ensure Spain a force to be reckoned with.
Arda Turan (TURKEY) – Group D
The Turkish national team captain is regarded as a leader and a legend in the eyes of the people of his country and rightfully so, he guided them to an important third place finish in Group A and they were ranked as the best third team amongst the other eight countries.
Kevin De Bruyne (BELGIUM) – Group E
The Manchester City playmaker has played a huge role in the Belgian’s rise to dominance in recent years as they are currently the second best-ranked team in the world, only behind Argentina. He has been crucial in his club’s Champions League campaign this season and helped Belgium to top the qualifying group after having a hand in more than five goals.
Gianluigi Buffon (ITALY) – Group E
The Juventus stopper is the most capped player in the Italian national team and has played in eight major competitions (four Euros, four World Cups) since joining the squad in 1997. He has 157 caps to his name and has won over 20 trophies for club and country in his career.
Shane Long (REPUBLIC OF IRELAND) – Group E
The Southampton attacker scored a number of important goals in the qualifying campaign, especially a late winner against Germany to confirm qualification to the Euro 2016. His pace and strength will help him go against the other teams in the proclaimed ‘Group of Death.’
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN) – Group E
Why always Zlatan?
Marko Arnautovic (AUSTRIA) – Group F
The big names of David Alaba, Christian Fuchs and Marc Janko will help the Vienna-born winger to excel to a higher level in France. He was a part of Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter Milan squad and Mario Balotelli has labelled him as a devil who just loves the game.
Balázs Dzsudzsák (HUNGARY) – Group F
The Hungarian captain is probably one of the best players in the national team as of now and he has spent his years playing in Netherlands, Russia and Turkey. He has the experience and leadership to guide his country to at least an important third place finish in the Euro 2016.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (ICELAND) – Group F
The Reykjavík-born midfielder ensured a spot for his country in the finals after finishing the qualifying campaign as the top goalscorer in Group A with six goals to his name. His contribution helped Iceland to their first ever European Championship final in history.
Cristiano Ronaldo (PORTUGAL) – Group F
The three-time Ballon d’Or and Champions League winner scored three crucial winning goals in the group stages against Denmark and Armenia twice to help Portugal top the group. He has scored the most goals in the European Championship with 26 goals and was recently named in the all-time in the UEFA Euro All-Time XI alongside the great names of Franz Beckenbauer, Paolo Maldini, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Marco van Basten.