A Sneak Peek: Stars of UEFA Euro 2012 Group B
We continue our build-up to the Euro 2012 with the rising stars of Group B. Kinshuk Biswas profiles them
In this feature we bring you some of the players who have the potential to become stars in Poland and Ukraine. We begun with Group A and now move on to Group B.
Name: Christian Eriksen
Age: 20 (14.02.1992)
Club: Denmark 2008 – Present
Position: Attacking Midfielder
National Caps (Goals): 21 (2)
Current Market Value: € 13,000,000
Christian Eriksen is one of the most exciting young talents in Europe. Though deployed in the attacking midfield position in his club as well as for his national team, he is being hailed as the complete midfielder by the pundits. He has great vision to pick up a fellow player, good passing and dribbling skills to open up defences as well as a thunderbolt of his own. He has made a meteoric progress so far in his short career and has already notched up the coveted Danish Football Player of the Year award in 2011. Under coach Morten Olsen he has been a regular in the first XI and quite an influential player at that with his recent performances. This year in the Eredivisie he has made an astonishing 18 assists over and above netting seven. The little playmaker has drawn attention from European giants but he remains committed to Ajax for his professional development so far. So far, that is.
Name: Mario Götze
Age: 19 (03.06.1992)
Club: Borussia Dortmund 2009 – Present
Position: Attacking Midfielder / Winger
National Caps (Goals): 12 (2)
Current market Value: € 30,000,000
Mario Götze, a promising German midfielder, is a product of the Dortmund youth system. Competent in either flank, as well as through the middle, Götze has done well through various age groups and made his senior international debut at a tender age of 18. That came on the back of his impressive 2010-11 club season when he was an integral part of the Bundesliga winning team. He is pacy, full of trickery and is helped by the fact that he is naturally two-footed. His growing influence in the international stages – he started the 2011-12 campaign by scoring back-to-back goals for the national name – will see him as one of the (if not the) youngest player in Euro 2012. He is yet to cement his place in the starting XI and is likely to be used as an impact player given the riches of wealth in the midfield for the Die Mannschaft.
Name: Kevin Strootman
Age: 22 (13.02.1990)
Club: PSV Eindhoven 2011 – Present
Position: Central Midfielder
National Caps (Goals): 10 (1)
Current market Value: € 8,000,000
Kevin Strootman was plying his trade in the second tier of Dutch league two years back. The tall, deep-lying playmaker has made a rapid progress since and is now a well established international player. In the qualification stages he has made five appearances with 2 assists and a fine goal against Finland. Overall a technically sound player, he can lock horns with his more illustrious counterparts. For the Orange he is the fulcrum of the midfield just as he is for his club Eindhoven. Besides anchoring the midfield and winning balls in a 50:50 duel due to his strong physical presence, Strootman has great vision, is an astute passer of the ball and often dictates the tempo of the match. He is also a dead ball specialist on virtue of a deadly left foot. An all round player, Strootman is more of a box-to-box midfielder who will like to announce himself in the Euro 2012 in a grand fashion.
Name: Fábio Coentrão
Age: 24 (11.03.1988)
Club: Real Madrid 2011 – Present
Position: Wing-back/ Midfielder
National Caps (Goals): 19 (1)
Current market Value: € 24,000,000
Fábio Coentrão is a natural left flank player who has established himself in the Portugal first XI for quite some time now. Still only 24, he is a relative greenhorn for a defender, and Euro 2012 will be a great platform for him to continue his fine showing at the World Cup 2010. He is a natural dribbler, likes to be involved in a short passing game and is very good with the ball in his feet. His stop-start career at Benfica finally blossomed at Real Madrid. He is given more of a defending role and has shone brilliantly there. Coentrão is also quite multi-dimensional as he can be slotted in the midfield – either in the left side or as a defensive shield – and it would give Portugal the added flexibility to change their shape and tactics during a game. Challenge for him will be to use his trademark maundering runs down the left flank to his advantage without being exposed defensively.