The Euro 2020 is set to be the 16th UEFA European Championship. It takes place every four years and is organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The soccer competition was originally scheduled for June 12 to July 12, 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament was delayed for a whole year and is now rescheduled to start on June 11 and end on July 11, 2021.
Soccer superstars, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Manuel Neuer, Antoine Griezmann, Harry Kane, Luka Modric, and others, will be in the limelight when the tournament begins, but there will be other players who will aim to impress and make a name for themselves thanks to this competition. Kylian Mbappe, Renato Sanches, James Rodriguez, Mario Balotelli... All of them belong to a special group of players. They are only four of the numerous standout performers from prior World Cups and European Championships.
Not many of the 662 players who might compete in Euro 2020 might be classified as totally unknown, but unfamiliar faces will hopefully take place in a split-off competition as France's Kylian Mbappe had at the previous major tournament, the 2018 World Cup. So, who should you keep an eye out for in the UEFA European Championship, aside from Mbappe? Check out the five players to watch in Euro 2020.
Mason Mount (England)
Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League in 2020-21, and Mount was nominated for Premier League Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year, but he lost both to Phil Foden and Ruben Dias. The Englishman was instrumental in the Blues' incredible season under both prior manager Frank Lampard and current head coach Thomas Tuchel.
He was the one who played the through pass that allowed Blues striker Kai Havertz to score the game-winning goal against Manchester City in the Champions League final. Mount's chances in the England national team only grew more as the 2020-21 season progressed.
Kai Havertz (Germany)
Havertz, the man responsible for Chelsea's first UEFA Champions League championship, is the most expensive player in the club's history. Even before moving to the Premier League, Havertz had established himself in Germany's starting lineup, filling a variety of roles ranging from striker to playmaker.
Havertz, under Joachim Low, is usually used as a second striker with flowing striker support. His connection with club partner Timo Werner has boosted the aspirations of many German supporters. Havertz has three goals in 14 appearances for Germany so far. Given Werner's recent dismal form, many are even betting on him to play central striker for Germany in Euro 2020.
Joao Felix (Portugal)
Thriving in an attacking position and playing with flare is unusual while playing for Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid, Joao Felix has shown glimpses of his skill with such zeal. Portugal has been drawn in perhaps the most difficult group, therefore players like Joao Felix will need to stand up to the plate if they are to advance to the knockout stage. The more Portugal progresses, the bigger the influence Felix's skills will have on football fans.
Joao Felix joined Atletico Madrid from Benfica in 2019 for €126m ($185.5m) as the fourth most expensive player. In spite of this great cost, Felix was prevented from playing at Atletico by injuries for Diego Simeone who likes a player who hustles to gain his own fighting third in his defenses.
Elif Elmas (Macedonia)
Elmas was just 19 when Napoli spent €16m ($19m) for him, but he was already a star in Turkey after two seasons with Fenerbahce. He can play as a false nine or box-to-box midfielder, and with two solid seasons at Napoli and more than 200 senior appearances under his belt, the Euros might be his springboard to even greater acclaim for the young talent
He was given a remarkable nickname. In Turkish, his name means "diamond," and thus, he is known as the "Macedonian diamond". Elmas is Macedonia's most skilled soccer player up to this day.
In just one season, the Barcelona kid has climbed through the ranks in Spain, bringing his extraordinary potential to the attention of the whole football world. The 18-year-old has been a constant starter in a huge club like Barcelona, playing the type of passing game that even Spain enjoys.
Luis Enrique granted him his international debut in March after Pedri had played more games for Barcelona than any other player this season, and the Spanish coach has intimated that he's more than simply filling in the numbers in this tournament. He was likened to Barcelona star Andres Iniesta for his playing style, and he justifiably earned a berth in Luis Enrique's Spain squad.