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Euro 2020: Player performances up to the semi-finals

It will be Italy versus England at Wembley and few could argue the pair are not worthy Euro 2020 finalists.

But which individuals have been influential in a thrilling tournament to date?

Using Opta’s player index – which calculates ratings based on data collected from every game – Stats Perform can reveal the top 20 performers to appear in the knockout stage.

Both the Azzurri and the Three Lions are well represented ahead of Sunday’s decider…

Marcos Llorente

Llorente on the ball / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Versatile midfielder Llorente did a little of everything in Spain’s run to the semi-finals, twice starting at right-back and then coming off the bench in his natural position in the last eight.

Llorente was a substitute again against Italy but was this time called on at full-back with five minutes of normal time remaining. Keeping Spain in the ascendancy, he completed each of his 22 passes before watching on as they came up short in the shoot-out.

Yussuf Poulsen, Luke Shaw

Shaw has had a brilliant tournament / Justin Tallis – Pool/Getty Images

In a tournament that has seen a number of standout left-backs, Shaw is the first on our list. He did not feature in the tournament opener against Croatia but has been a key performer for England since then.

Shaw leads England in chances created (nine) and assists (three). Going the other way, he has made eight tackles – only Mason Mount has more in an England shirt – and is yet to be dribbled past.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling was electric against Denmark / Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images

England representation has been scarce in Opta’s index for much of this tournament, but a final appearance has earned recognition and Sterling has done more than most to get the Three Lions there.

The England forward has both attempted (33) and completed (19) more dribbles than any other player at the tournament. Of those, 16 take-ons and 10 successful attempts – two tournament highs – were in a dazzling display against Denmark.

Harry Kane

Are you not entertained? / Frank Augstein – Pool/Getty Images

Pressure was building on Kane after a slow start to the tournament, with no goals in the group stage. He had netted five in the first round at the 2018 World Cup.

But where the striker netted only once in the knockout stage in Russia, he has four this time – the most in the tournament in that period. His 2.97 expected goals in the knockout rounds is another high.

Koke

Koke before the Italy game / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Fifteen minutes before Llorente was introduced against Italy, Atletico Madrid colleague Koke made way for Rodri with Spain in need of an equaliser. That was no slight on the man who started all six matches for La Roja, though.

Koke again turned in an all-action display, creating two chances and making two tackles while also marshalling Marco Verratti. His 94.2 per cent pass completion was the third-best rate among players to start the semi-final – a significant achievement in this pass-happy Spain side.

Kyle Walker

Walker used his pace expertly against Denmark / Frank Augstein – Pool/Getty Images

Walker has been a steady presence in a solid England defence, whether playing at right-back or in the middle, winning 68.2 per cent of his 22 duels in the tournament.

The Manchester City man was particularly impressive against Denmark, recovering possession on 10 occasions – tying the game high.

Harry Maguire, Declan Rice

Maguire was excellent against Denmark / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Maguire’s selection in Gareth Southgate’s squad was questioned as he arrived for the tournament still recovering from injury and missed the first two matches.

Since then, though, Maguire has been one of the tournament’s standout defenders. In the knockout stage, he has won the most aerial duels (17 of 20), making 12 clearances and six interceptions and also attempting seven shots, one of which had Kasper Schmeichel scrambling across his line in the semi-final.

Emil Forsberg

Forsberg was Sweden’s main goal threat / Andy Buchanan – Pool/Getty Images

Asked to create moments of magic in an otherwise unambitious Sweden side, Forsberg did exactly that.

Although his 13 non-penalty shots were worth just 0.99 xG combined, three of the four that hit the target found the net, while he also twice agonisingly saw efforts bounce away off the woodwork.

Thomas Vermaelen

Vermaelen with the ball / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

The oldest of Belgium’s ageing defenders was the pick of the bunch, packing plenty into his 285 minutes on the pitch: 11 clearances, eight tackles, seven interceptions and six blocks.

Eight Belgium players saw more action than Vermaelen, but he led the team in interceptions and blocks.

Xherdan Shaqiri

Shaqiri scored Switzerland’s equaliser against Spain / Anton Vaganov – Pool/Getty Images

Shaqiri might be best known as a creative force, but he crafted only three open-play chances and no assists as Steven Zuber instead teed up four goals.

The Liverpool man’s 0.77 expected assists actually outperformed Zuber’s 0.54, but his most telling contributions were goals of his own, three including a vital double against Turkey to reach the knockout stage.

John Stones

Stones celebrates England’s semi final victory / Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images

Completing the England back four, Stones leads the way for the final hosts. The centre-back has played the most minutes of any outfield Three Lions player at the finals (559).

Stones has played a team-high 424 passes and completed 94.6 per cent of them. Crucially, there have been no errors leading to shots – an issue for Stones in an England shirt previously.

Leonardo Spinazzola

Spinazzola won’t feature in the final / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Italy wing-back Spinazzola was one of the stars of the tournament until he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon against Belgium in the quarter-final. His contributions were not forgotten as Lorenzo Insigne celebrated the Azzurri’s semi-final win in his injured team-mate’s shirt.

Final opponents England will be glad not to have to contain his running, with six shot-ending ball carries bettered by only Domenico Berardi (seven), while his bursts have also led to three key passes.

Joakim Maehle, Yussuf Poulsen

Maehle applauds Denmark supporters / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Another marauding left-sided wing-back, Maehle was impressively kept in check by England, failing to attempt a shot for the first time in the tournament. He also did not create a single chance and was limited to one successful dribble.

Maehle played his part in frustrating England in defence, however, attempting eight tackles in a tally only bettered once at the tournament.

Paul Pogba

Pogba’s France were defeated in the last 16 / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

The dazzling skill Pogba displayed in France’s short run is unlikely to be forgotten, but he also delivered statistically prior to their premature exit.

No France player made more recoveries (33) or was involved in more shot-ending sequences (28), with Pogba at the heart of his side’s play before adding one goal from eight shots and one assist from eight open-play chances created, which was also the most among Les Bleus.

Pedri, Thiago Alcantara

Pedri had a brilliant tournament / Jose Manuel Vidal – Pool/Getty Images

Few players boosted their status in the eyes of the casual viewer more than Pedri, although his high level of performance could have come as no surprise to those who watched the 18-year-old in action for Barcelona last season.

No midfielder attempted (461) or completed (421) more passes, while he was accurate with all 56 in normal time against Italy – the second-highest perfect return at the Euros since 1980.

Patrik Schick

Schick celebrates against the Netherlands / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Schick came up just short in pursuit of the Golden Boot, trailing Cristiano Ronaldo by virtue of a single assist, but surely delivered the goal of the tournament.

His four non-penalty goals is matched only by Kane, while his nine non-penalty shots on target leads the way and the Czech Republic were ultimately a little unfortunate to fall at the hands of Denmark in the last eight.

Jordi Alba

Alba whips up the crowd / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Alba’s influence as one of the most complete full-backs around is evidenced by his contributions at both ends of the field: his 45 recoveries is second only to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but no one can match his 2.41 xA from open play.

The limits of his seemingly boundless energy were put to the test, too, as Alba played 553 minutes, with Spain three times taken to extra time.

Kasper Dolberg

Dolberg celebrates against the Czech Republic / Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Dolberg only came into the Denmark XI because an attack already robbed of Christian Eriksen’s creativity was without Yussuf Poulsen against Wales.

The Nice forward seized his opportunity, becoming just the second Denmark player to score twice in one knockout game at a major tournament and then netting again against the Czech Republic. His sole shot against England gave Jordan Pickford a simple save, though.

Jorginho

Jorginho scored the winning penalty against Spain / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Jorginho (585) has played even more minutes than Alba and he is not done yet thanks to his own decisive penalty in the shoot-out against Spain.

Stones (417) is the only non-Spanish player to have attempted more passes in open play than the Chelsea man (413), while Jorginho leads the way for interceptions (21) and is ranked third for recoveries (44).

Marco Verratti, Dani Olmo

Verratti battles with Dani Olmo / Visionhaus/Getty Images

A knee injury meant Verratti’s tournament did not get under way until the final group game, by which point Manuel Locatelli had made an impact in his place. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is firmly up to speed now, though.

As well as completing 277 of his 299 passes, with 202 of those attempts coming in the opposition half, no midfielder has won more duels than Verratti (33) and only two have made more tackles (13).

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