Euro 2016: Top 5 defenders at the tournament
UEFA Euro 2016 was a tournament of attrition to be sure. Teams were hesitant to go all out and most decided to sit back and counter. Some were successful and others failed. The ones who could replicate the success on a consistent basis had a backline that was as formidable as the Great Wall of China.
Portugal might not have thrilled the audience with their attack but shut out their opponents by defending with grit and hence have two players in the top 5. Here are some of the superstars from the teams that defended their way into the knockout rounds:
- Leonardo Bonucci
The Italian defender came into great momentum fro a fantastic season for his club Juventus. Even before the tournament began, Bonucci was on the radar of top Premier League clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. His value only rocketed after the tournament with Manchester City reportedly making a €60 million bid for the defender.
In the tournament, Bonucci has been vital in winning the ball back in his half for Italy, with 39 ball recoveries to his name. With 28 clearances to his name, he has evidently been there to keep Italy away from trouble when they were defending narrow leads throughout the tournament.
He also converted a penalty against Germany to take the game into extra-time. Leonardo has definitely been one of the best defenders of the tournament.