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UEFA EURO-2020

New Stars: football players to follow at the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup

Jude Bellingham
© EPA-EFE/Paul Ellis/POOL
Seven players who might surprise football fans at the upcoming tournament

The much-anticipated 2020 UEFA Euro Cup kicks off on Friday. Each European championship had paved the way for a new talent or a new star, for instance, Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2004 Euro Cup, Croatia’s Luca Modric at the 2008 Euro Cup and N’Golo Kante at the 2016 Euro Cup. Football scouts, as well as football fans, are set to closely follow the achievements of young and perspective football players. The UEFA Euro Cup is an exposition of talents and the best European football clubs will start their search after the outstanding players following the tournament. We are giving you a hint here about who might be on fire at the upcoming holiday of football.

Jude Bellingham

A midfielder from Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the England national team turns 18, on June 29. He is already one of the most hunted-for players on the football market. The German-based web portal Transfermarkt currently estimates the transfer cost of Bellingham at 55 million euro (almost $67 million). The player has already booked a record after scoring a goal against Manchester City FC in the 2020/2021 season of the Champions League becoming the youngest player to score in this tournament at the age of 17 years and 289 days.

' YouTube/Jacko Football'

The midfielder’s strong point is the combination of his abilities to play both on offense and defense. England’s Head Coach Gareth Southgate appreciated Bellingham’s outstanding physical shape and his drive for the game and invited the young midfielder to join the national team for the European championship. Bellingham is now set to play at least three group stage matches of the championship with England.

Pedri

Pedri, who plays as a central midfielder for Spain’s Barcelona football club and the country’s national team, turned 18 last November. His numerous fans call him “the new Iniesta” and “Barcelona’s future.” Pedri joined Barcelona FC in difficult times, when the club experienced an unsuccessful start of the season and a sustained injury of Philippe Coutinho forced the club’s Head Coach Ronald Koeman to include Pedri in the team’s starting list. The Spanish player showed his best booking four goals and six assists in his 52 match-appearances during the 2020/2021 season.

Pedri scored his first goal for Barcelona FC in his Champions League debut match against Ferencvarosi FC. The player’s outstanding skills and his vision of the game may be of great help for his Spanish team’s partners and may also bring trouble to opponents at the European championship.

Mason Mount

Chelsea FC midfielder is already popular with his football club’s fans. In his debut during the 2020/2021 season with Chelsea FC, the 22-year-old midfielder scored nine goals and booked nine assists in 54 matches. It may be viewed as not a great achievement, but the significance of his assists is great.

' YouTube/Mathews Football'

Mount’s assist in the final of the Champions League resulted in the only scored goal in that match that brought his club victory. Besides his ability to pass the ball at various ranges, Mount’s strong points are the good vision of the field and an ability to act promptly on offense. Head Coach Gareth Southgate knows well about such abilities and we can expect Mount in the starting list of the national team during the championship.

Maxim Mukhin

The 19-year-old rookie from CSKA Moscow FC joined the club coming from Lokomotiv Moscow FC in May. Mukhin joined the Lokomotiv club in January 2021 on a transfer from Kazanka FC and played 21 matches in six months. Playing for Lokomotiv FC, Mukhin won the Russia Cup, when his club defeated Krylya Sovetov of Samara.

' YouTube/Wi7ardOz'

Mukhin is an outstanding central midfielder playing on defense and boosting his team’s attacks with long passes. He is the so-called ‘first pass’ to launch goal-attacks against opponents. During the Russian football championship on numerous occasions, he took the ball from the defensive into offensive, helping his team to score. The upcoming championship may become a new stage in the development of the young and talented midfielder from Russia.

Federico Chiesa

The Italian national football team missed the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and will now try to win the trust of its fans during the upcoming Euro Cup. New bright footballers were mixed up with experienced players in the national team. One of the new players is the son of famous Italian forward Enrico Chisea - Federico. The 23-year-old winger is a player from Fiorentina FC, but he played for Juventus FC in the 2020/2021 season. It is most likely that the Italian club from Turin will buy him out since Chiesa had a remarkable season having booked 15 goals and 11 assists in his 46-match appearances. Chiesa also helped Juventus FC to win the Italy Cup having scored a winning goal in the match against Atalanta FC and was named the best player of that game.

The winger is most likely to form a dominant offensive force of the Italian team jointly with Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti.

Josko Gvardiol

Numerous jokes were voiced about a possible relationship of the 19-year-old defender of the Croatian national team with famous Spanish Head Coach Josep Guardiola. However, Russian football fans had to learn by heart the exact pronunciation of the Croatian player’s last name as he disrupted attacks of the CSKA and Krasnodar football clubs in the Europa League and also scored one of three goals for Dinamo Zagreb FC in the match against CSKA Moscow.

' YouTube/SVMM'

In all, Gvardiol scored three goals and had three assists over the past season. His strong points are body-slamming and the game with the ball in the air, therefore, opponents of the Croatian team at the European Championship would have to do their utmost to get past this defender. This summer, Gvardiol is set to join German football club Leipzig after a 19-million euro ($23.1 million) transfer deal.

Viktor Tsyhankov

The Ukrainian midfielder has been playing for his country’s national football team since 2016. Tsyhankov, 23, is one of the stars with his Dynamo Kiev football club and is also a vice captain of the team. His best season with the club was the 2020/2021 season, when he booked 15 goals and nine assists in 34 matches, while Dynamo Kiev won all domestic tournaments, including the national championship, the Ukrainian Cup and the Ukrainian Super Cup.

Playing for the national team of Ukraine, Tsyhankov scored six goals, including against the teams of Serbia, France and Spain. Dribbling and long-distance passing are among the strong points of the midfielder. Tsyhankov will try to show his best play at the upcoming Euro Cup to help his team achieve a decent result.