Spain's Dani Ceballos named Player of the Tournament

Dani Ceballos is the first winner of UEFA's new U21 EURO Player of the Tournament award, the Real Betis midfielder having made a huge contribution to Spain's run to the final.

Spain's Dani Ceballos receives his Player of the Tournament award from UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin
Spain's Dani Ceballos receives his Player of the Tournament award from UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin ©Sportsfile

Spain midfielder Dani Ceballos has been named Player of the Tournament for his performances over the past fortnight.

The 20-year-old from Real Betis, who received the award on the pitch after Spain's defeat by Germany in the final, is the first player to claim the newly-minted individual accolade. He started Spain's campaign on the bench but came on against FYR Macedonia and subsequently started against Portugal, Italy and Germany.

Ceballos said after receiving his award: "It's a bittersweet feeling. I'm pleased to be the best player but right now I'd swap the trophy to be a [European] champion."

The winner was selected by UEFA's team of technical observers, who were looking for players to display exceptional skills, make decisive contributions, show a positive attitude and, crucially, dedicate their individual abilities to the collective efforts of their team.

Ceballos attempts a shot during the final
Ceballos attempts a shot during the final©Sportsfile

UEFA's team of technical observers here in Poland comprises the following coaches from around Europe:

Peter Rudbaek, Denmark
Mixu Paatelainen, Finland
Thomas Schaaf, Germany
Stefan Majewski, Poland
Dany Ryser, Switzerland
Ginés Meléndez Sotos, Spain

The new prize replaces the 'Golden Player' honour given to the standout performer of previous tournaments. Portugal's William Carvalho was chosen in 2015, while other notable names on the list include Andrea Pirlo, Petr Čech and Juan Mata.