The European Championships offer a platform for the top players to express themselves and showcase their talents but who will be the man that decides the destiny of the famous trophy on July 10?
Here are five contenders for the mantle.
Paul Pogba – France
The current Juventus midfielder went into the tournament as one of the main attractions. Every host country needs a talisman and Pogba is expected to be just that for the French.
Pogba is easily turning into one of the world’s most complete midfielders – he can shoot, score, tackle and make the game look effortless. The 23 year-old has the class to light up the tournament despite enduring a tough opening match against Romania.
He will need to find his scoring boots for the national side however as his last goal for Les Bleus was over 18 months ago. Nevertheless, he has the talent and presence to cope with the pressure and lead France to glory.
Nolito – Spain
The Spanish have a lack of top class centre forwards but 22 year-old Celta Vigo attacker Nolito looks set to have a break through tournament for the current double European Champions. Nolito plays the game with a smile on his face and had scored four goals in nine appearances for the national side before the tournament kicked off.
He predominately plays on the left side of a front three but can also play central if required. Nolito has
been a consistent performer for his club over the last three seasons posting 39 goals in 100 appearances and thoroughly deserved his call up to the national side.
The Celta Vigo man can be become a household name if Spain can lift yet another European trophy.
Thomas Muller – Germany
The 26 year-old striker has already amassed 71 caps for his country and found the net on 32 occasions. Muller can play anywhere across the front three and can even excel playing behind the front man. He has an incredible knack of scoring when it looks like the game is slipping past him.
With the absence of Philip Lahm from the German side, Muller’s role within the team has taken on an extra importance.
He is a creator, goal scorer and leader all rolled into one. If the Germans do well this summer you can be sure Muller will at the heart of it.
Dele Alli – England
Twelve months is a long time in football – Dele Alli can vouch for that. This time last year he was celebrating promotion to The Championship with MK Dons which had earnt him a move to Spurs the previous January.
Alli took to the Premier League like a duck to water and was one of the shining lights last term. He is fearless, energetic on the ball and possesses the subtle arrogance that the top midfielders require. The 20 year-old box to box midfielder scored 10 goals in his debut Premier League season and looks set to have a big future ahead of him.
Meanwhile, his inclusion in the England squad has been seamless, he plays a supporting role to Harry Kane that will be integral to England’s chances of success this summer.
Kevin De Bruyne – Belgium
Belgium have more talent than coach Marc Wilmots knows what to do with. Their squad list will be the envy of most managers in France but it’s the star quality of Manchester City attacking midfielder Kevin de Bruyne that’s look to be Belgium’s jewel in the crown.
Since leaving Chelsea in the 2013-14 season, De Bruyne’s game has moved on to another level. He was the voted the best player in the Bundesliga after scoring 10 goals in 34 matches for Wolfsburg and assisting even more.
This prompted Manchester City to sign the Belgium maverick and he delivered again last season with seven goals in 25 games, but perhaps more tellingly, his absence through injury at the end of the season sparked a big drop in form for Manchester City.
Without doubt, Kevin De Bruyne will be Belgium’s main man this summer.