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Best under-23 XI of Euro 2020

Many bright and precocious young talents lit up Euro 2020 with eye-catching performances.
Many bright and precocious young talents lit up Euro 2020 with eye-catching performances.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST

European football is blessed with many incredibly talented young players, something that was abundantly evident at Euro 2020 .

Their performances at club level were there for all to see, but these players also performed well on the international stage. Suffice to say, some of them grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Pedri was adjudged the best player under-23 for his stellar performances for Spain, playing a key role in their run to the Euro 2020 semi-final. But he wasn't the only young player to make heads turn.

On that note, let's have a look at the best Under-23 XI at Euro 2020 (Formation used: 3-5-2 for the hypothetical xi).


Honourable mentions: Manuel Locatelli (Italy), Kai Havertz (Germany), Alexander Isak (Sweden), and Christoph Baumgartner (Austria).


Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)

Gianluigi Donnarumma was the hero for Italy in the Euro 2020 final, saving two England penalties.
Gianluigi Donnarumma was the hero for Italy in the Euro 2020 final, saving two England penalties.

Could it have been anyone else? Gianluigi Donnarumma was the star of Italy's title-winning night against England, saving two penalties to help the Azzurri win Euro 2020. But the youngster's heroics were there for all to see throughout the tournament.

His composure in tough moments belied his young years. Donnarumma pulled off a brilliant save to deny Kevin De Bruyne in the quarter-finals against Belgium. He used his towering frame to punch balls clear during set-pieces, making 27 such stops at Euro 2020.

The new PSG recruit kept three clean sheets in seven Euro 2020 games - all three shutouts coming in the group stage. Although he was surely helped by a resolute defence in front of him, Donnarumma's contributions in goal cannot be denied, as he conceded only twice from open play (one of which came in regulation time).

It's difficult to believe that Donnarumma is still only 22, and this was his first major international tournament with Italy. At this rate, Donnarumma could achieve many more laurels with the Azzurri.

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Edited by Bhargav
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