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#Euro2016: Best XI from Matchday 1

FORMATION: 4-2-3-1

Gianluigi Buffon: The Juventus goalkeeper was one of the seven goalkeepers (out of 12) who managed to keep a clean sheet in the first game and deserved to be here because of his outstanding performance in goal for The Blues. He was covered by his trusted Juventus back-three of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli at most times, but the goalkeeper, who turns 39 this year, made a number of saves to deny the Belgians a chance.

Kyle Walker: The Tottenham Hotspur right-back was the best player on the pitch during the England and Russia game in Marseille as he galloped down the flanks all night long to support Adam Lallana and deliver a few crosses into the penalty box for Harry Kane. He has the most number of take-ons in the European Championship with six and plans to add more to that tally when The Three Lions take on Wales and Slovakia in their next group stage matches.

Leonardo Bonucci: The aggressive centre-back was rock solid in the heart of the Italian defence against Belgium and kept Romelu Lukaku in his pocket throughout the entire match. He was comfortable in defence alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli in defence and also played a part in the opening goal after beautifully assisting Emanuele Giaccherini.

Photo Credit: Eurosport
Photo Credit: Eurosport

Shkodran Mustafi: The German centre-back was preferred over new Bayern Munich signing Mats Hummels alongside Jerome Boateng in central defence and despite his recent struggles with Valencia this season, the 24 year-old seemed unbeatable against the fast-paced Ukrainian side. He also scored the opening goal of the night after a cross from Toni Kroos.

Ricardo Rodriguez: The Wolfsburg full-back has the potential to join a bigger club and after his performance against the Albanians on opening day, do not be surprised that offers will come knocking against his door. He helped his country keep a clean sheet and also played a big role in the attacking department by offering a number of runs throughout the match.

Toni Kroos: To see the two-time Champions League winner in this list is not surprising because he is the definition of world-class passing. The German controlled his midfield with ease and created a number of chances for his teammates to add to the tally, especially after providing a great ball from a free-kick to Shkodran Mustafi to head in the opening goal.

Photo Credit: NDTV
Photo Credit: NDTV

Luka Modric: Like Toni Kroos, his Real Madrid compatriot was the main man on the field during the Croatia and Turkey on Sunday night. He was deployed in a deeper role compared to the central role in Spain and was linking the play well between his teammates and himself. He also managed to get on the scoresheet after a delicious volley from 25 yards out.

Gareth Bale: The Welsh wizard was all over the field during his country’s win over Slovakia on Sunday. His immense pace helped him beat his opponents every single time and scored a beautiful free-kick after placing it over the ball and it swerved in past the goalkeeper.

Andres Iniesta: The Spanish masterclass has probably been one of the best players in the first round of the European Championship. He dictated play like he normally does and controlled the tempo of the game with the help of Sergio Busquets and David Silva beside him. He also had a hand in Spain’s sole goal of the game after assisting Gerard Pique.

Photo Credit: Sky Sports
Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Dimitri Payet: The West Ham wonderkid has been in great form for The Hammers this season and he did not forget to bring it back home for the opening game against Romania. He was filled with tricks and skills and seemed confident every time he was on the ball. He assisted Olivier Giroud for the opening goal of the game before blasting the ball from outside the box on the 89th minute to send the French supporters into a state of pure ecstasy.

Graziano Pelle: The Italian powerhouse was dominant in mid-air and troubled the Belgian defence with his aerial presence during their Group E encounter. He managed to hold the ball well and set it back for his teammates and also scored towards the end of full-time.



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