On the 10th of July, a new European Champion was crowned at the Stade de France as Portugal beat France 1-0 to win Euro 2016 and in the process, became the tenth different nation to win the UEFA European Championship. Eder’s goal in the 109th minute gave Portugal their first ever major championship in their footballing history and subsequently drew the curtains on the 15th edition of the Euros which has been a rather exciting contest.
The tournament saw less popular nations like Wales and Iceland script fairy tales in the tournament and heavily favoured teams like England and Spain catching an early flight home. However, one thing that cannot be overlooked in the competition has been the brilliant display of goalkeeping shown in the tournament.
Many unknown goalkeepers like Hannes Halldorsson of Iceland and Michael McGovern of Northern Ireland have made a name for themselves through their brilliant performances throughout the competition. Let’s take a look at the top 5 goalkeepers of Euro 2016.
#1 Rui Patricio
The Sporting CP goalkeeper was arguably Portugal’s star of the tournament as his brilliant performances between the sticks helped Portugal lift Euro 2016 and as a result, he was inducted in the Team of the Tournament for his heroics on goal.
Throughout the tournament, Patricio was solid in the Portuguese goal and conceded only five goals in the tournament, two of which came off deflections. After being a little shaky during the group stages, Patricio’s best was seen during the knockout rounds.
In Portugal’s quarter-final victory over Poland, Patricio made the all-important save from Jakub Blaszczykowski’s spot-kick in the penalty shootout which helped Portugal advance to the semi-finals.
After putting up a decent performance in the semis, Patricio put up his best performance of the tournament in the final against France. France were dominant throughout the game in terms of possession and attempts but whenever they had an attempt on target, Patricio was up to the task and was equal to whatever the French threw at him.
His saves from Moussa Sissoko and Olivier Giroud outlines an outstanding performance.
Portugal eventually won the match 1-0 and were crowned the champions of Euro 2016. Pepe might have been adjudged the Man of the Match but had it not been for the 28-year old custodian’s heroics, Portugal might have ended the tournament as runner-up.
Patricio definitely was the best keeper of the tournament and has now established himself as one of Portugal’s all-time best keepers.