In previous years, the UEFA technical observers had chosen a Select Squad of 18 players. However, the expansion of squad-size to 20 prompted a re-think, the result of which was a decision to name 11 players for a Team of the Tournament. This was evidently a greater challenge but raised a few talking points that are mentioned elsewhere in this report.
The basic idea was to select a team to play in 1-4-2-3-1 formation, though the tactical drawing of the team is open to debate on account of the defenders selected to form the back four. There are obviously many omissions due to specific circumstances – England defender Ethan Laird might well have found a place had he not missed the semi-final due to suspension; likewise midfielder Thomas Doyle, eliminated through injury during the group stage. Italy’s Samuele Ricci and Nicolò Fagioli could easily have been included in a larger squad. No fewer than six goalkeepers were short-listed. And various players were removed from the list of candidates simply because their teams did not progress or because they did not play as many minutes as other candidates – thereby giving the technical observers a lesser chance to assess their impact.