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5 Players to Watch Out For in Euro 2016: Ronaldo, Muller and More

The Quint takes a look at the five players to watch out for in Euro 2016.

Published
Sports
3 min read
File photo of Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo: AP)

After yet another grueling season of club football, the star players are raring to perform for their respective countries in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship which will be played in France from 10 June to 10 July.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid clinch their eleventh Champions League title earlier this year will have to shoulder the responsibility of the Portugal team. Likewise, even Gareth Bale will be the center of attraction in the Wales team.

The Quint takes a look at the five players to watch out for in Euro 2016.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo: AP)
Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo: AP)

Ronaldo, who converted the winning penalty for Madrid in the Champions League final last month, is already sure of going down as one of Portugal’s all-time greats.

The team captain is his country’s all-time top scorer with 56 goals in 125 appearances — two shy of Luis Figo’s record number of caps. A player who loves being in the center of attention, Ronaldo needs to shine in France for Portugal to have any chance of winning the tournament.

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2. Gareth Bale, Wales

Gareth Bale. (Photo: AP)
Gareth Bale. (Photo: AP)

The world’s most expensive footballer has been Wales’ inspiration, either in the unusual position of lone striker or from a central attacking midfield position.

He has had ups and downs for Real Madrid but Bale has rarely had a bad game for Wales His country will be depending on the 26-year-old to advance from its group.

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3. Thomas Muller, Germany

Thomas Mueller. (Photo: AP)
Thomas Mueller. (Photo: AP)

The Bayern Munich forward is the dream and nightmare of each coach. Thomas Mueller needs freedom to roam and cannot fit into set patterns. But he has the instinct for being at the right place at the right time.

A typical poacher, the German will score from half chances and loose balls. Loew has been playing without a true striker since the retirement of Miroslav Klose and Mueller has proved indispensable to the team, scoring nine goals in the qualifying stage.

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4. Robert Lewandowski, Poland

Robert Lewandowski. (Photo: AP) 
Robert Lewandowski. (Photo: AP) 

Some believed that Robert Lewandowski may struggle at Bayern Munich following his 2014 switch from Borussia Dortmund. But he rose to the challenge and confirmed his status as one of the world’s best forwards.

If anything, he’s only getting better. Clinical in front of the goal and dangerous with his back to it — Lewandowski’s ball control, strength and industry are a nightmare for opposing defenders — the 27-year-old is undoubtedly Poland’s star man and the key to the side’s success.

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5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden

 Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Photo: Reuters)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Photo: Reuters)

The striker is Sweden’s undisputed leader and the country’s all-time leading scorer. Ibrahimovic will be playing in his sixth major tournament but Sweden has not reached a quarter-final since Euro 2004 and missed the last two World Cups.

At 34, the striker has acknowledged that this is “probably” his last international tournament, marking the end of an era in Swedish football.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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