It has really only been those pesky 5 o’clock games that I have missed parts of, despite claiming to be half Czech/ Polish / Danish (delete were applicable) I have not managed to leave work early unlike for England’s opening match, no such problems will befront us at the next World Cup!
It seems the way I watch football has changed over the years, now focusing more on individual talent and performance rather than teams just winning or losing.
Therefore it has become easier to spot talented players of all kinds and not just the obvious one’s.
Ask football fans all over who they think the best midfield players in the world are and who they would want in their team and I bet most would say Xavi, Inesta or Sneijder. Now, there is nothing wrong with those choices, all quality players and after all football is a game heavy on opinion. For me it would be Bastian Schweinsteiger, his contribution for club and especially country can not go un-noticed. I have been a fan of Schweinsteiger since he first broke into the German national team as a winger back in 2006, but he has since evolved in to one of the top central midfield players in the world with the ability to read the game, tackle, keep the ball a also play the killer pass, it’s no wonder he is nicknamed ‘The Brain’. Schweinsteiger has again impressed so far in this tournament by doing all of the above including setting up both German goals against Holland on Wednesday night. ‘The Brain’ heads my list of players who have impressed me so far at these Championships.
1. Bastian Schweinsteiger. Germany.
His performance against Holland was outstanding and he is a delight to watch including his intelligent and clever passes that lead to Gomez scoring twice.
2. Robert Lewandowski. Poland
Lewandowski opened the scoring at these Championships with a well taken header against Greece but his overall touch and work rate has been exceptional, it easy to see why he is being linked with a big money move to Manchester United.
3. Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Greece
Although he started the tournament on the bench, he was called into action early on in Greece’s opening game and has impressed with his no-nonsense defending, looking solid and also comfortable on the ball.
4. Petr Jiracek. Czech Republic
Un-mistakable in appearance, Jiracek was the lone high of the Czech’s disappointing opening day thrashing at the hands of Russia. Another all action performance was capped with a goal against the Greeks.
5. Alan Dzagoev. Russia
No surprises here, as Dzagoev has caught the eye with his 3 goals and excellent attacking play, very exciting to watch, as have Russia been so far.
6. Andrea Pirlo. Italy
Pirlo has rolled back the years with his performances for Italy so far. He looks as good as he has ever been with his eye for a pass that others can only dream of, scored a brilliant free kick against Croatia to boot.
7. Claudio Marchisio. Italy
Marchisio is one of those players I probably wouldn’t have picked up on years ago but he was good defensively and used the ball well against Spain and was again impressive vs. Croatia, also getting forward well and creating openings for team mates.
8. Andres Inesta. Spain
Spain, have again impressed, keeping the ball better than anyone else and working hard to get it back, none more so than Inesta, a very busy player, with bags of skill and great work rate.
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