Liverpool star and Arsenal duo join outstanding free agent among top performers so far

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Euro 2016 is already more than two-thirds complete. It’s 36 games down, 51 to go.

With the tournament’s group phase done and dusted, now feels like a good time to pause for breath and assess what we have seen so far.

Below is our Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament, made up of the players who have impressed the most so far.

Goalkeeper: Michael McGovern (Northern Ireland)

The 31-year-old is currently a free agent after being released by Hamilton Academical, but talking about putting yourself in the shop window!

McGovern’s heroics between the sticks are a major reason why Northern Ireland were able to sneak through to the last 16 on goal difference.

He made 14 saves – more than any other goalkeeper in the tournament other than Iceland’s Hannes Thor Halldorsson.

Right-back: Jerome Boateng (Germany)

Yes, he’s played at centre-half, not right-back, but Boateng simply had to get into this team, one way or another.

The Bayern Munich man has been superb for the world champions, who are yet to concede a goal in France.

Things could have been very different for Joachim Low’s men had Boateng not executed a superb goal-line clearance during the first half of Germany’s 2-0 win over Ukraine.

Centre-back: Kamil Glik (Poland)

Like Germany, Poland boast three clean sheets out of three.

The Poles’ superbly-stingy defensive record is thanks in no small part to Glik, who has proven to be one of the tournament’s shrewdest picks for fantasy football managers!

Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)

Italian expectations were unusually low at the start of the tournament, with many suggesting that this was one of the least inspiring Azzurri team in decades.

But, while attacking flair may be in shorter supply than usual, Italy still have defensive class in spades.

And Juve’s Bonucci has been the main man, keeping things tight at the heart of a back-three which has conceded just once in three games.

Bonucci also lived up to his reputation as a fine ball-playing centre-half by providing a fabulous assist for the breakthrough goal in Italy’s 2-0 win over Belgium.

Left-back: Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland)

OK, so the Swiss haven’t exactly lit up the tournament for the neutral, with just three goals coming in their three games so far.

Nevertheless, Wolfsburg left-back Rodriguez has been brilliant.

In three full matches, the 23-year-old has only been dribbled past once, while he has been equally tidy in possession, with a pass-success rate in excess of 90%.

Midfield: Joe Allen (Wales)

Forget the memes for a second and just focus on the player. And what a player the Liverpool star has been for Wales during their debut campaign at European Championship.

Allen has been the glue keeping Wales together. Only one midfielder – France’s N’Golo Kante – has made more Euro 2016 interceptions than Allen’s nine.

Meanwhile, the former Swansea player has created four chances, one of which was converted into an assist when Aaron Ramsey latched onto his perfect though-ball to slot home the opener in the 3-0 thrashing of Russia.

Midfield: Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)

Arsenal have been searching for a dominating central midfielder to toughen them up in the middle of the park for years.

And, in this 23-year-old, it looks like they’ve struck gold. The Gunners summer signing has arguably been the best player on the pitch in all three of Switzerland’s games so far.

Attacking midfield: Ivan Perisic (Croatia)

Perisic has played a major role in three of Croatia’s five goals, scoring one and claiming two assists.

He bagged one and made one as his country upset holders Spain on Tuesday night to top Group D against the odds.

Attacking midfield: Dimitri Payet (France)

West Ham’s main man has really delivered for the hosts – and he’s done so right when the pressure was on too, with his two goals and one assist all coming later than the 89th minute.

Attacking midfield: Aaron Ramsey (Wales)

Although he still has to operate in the shadow of Gareth Bale, Ramsey is given much more freedom and responsibility with Wales, compared to his restricted role at Arsenal.

Playing on the major international stage for the first time in his career, Ramsey has thrived.

As well as producing two assists and a goal in three games, the 25-year-old has made eight key passes and won six free-kicks.

Forward: Gareth Bale (Wales)

Is Bale the best player in Europe right now? Cristiano Ronaldo would certainly disagree, but Bale’s brilliance for Wales must at least give Real Madrid fans hope that life will go on after Ronny retires.

Bale has been brilliant. And his free-kicks have certainly been better that his Real’s teammate’s.

His goals against Slovakia and England both came direct from deal-ball situations, but the former Tottenham left-back scored from open play against Russia, after terrorising them with his direct dribbling all game.

Liverpool

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