GRAPHIC: The best XI of the opening round of Euro 2016

The Newstalk Sport team select the 11 players who starred in the opening days of the tournament

BY Newstalk 12:39 Wednesday 15 June 2016, 12:39 15 Jun 2016

Picture by: Petr David Josek / AP/Press Association Images

Tuesday night's 1-1 draw between Portugal and Iceland marked the point at which all 24 teams had finally played their opening games at Euro 2016.

Some teams impressed (Italy and Hungary), while others (Belgium and Turkey) would have been disappointed with their opening performances, but there were a number of players across the squads who stood out.

Here are our picks for the Team of the Tournament (so far...):

GK: Manuel Neuer (Germany)

It's hardly worth saying, but you need an excellent goalkeeper to win a World Cup and against Ukraine, Neuer showed why he remains one of the best in the World. Some excellent saves helped the team to an impressive 2-0 win.

DF: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)

A mainstay of the Juventus defence, Chiellini showed against Belgium why the Italians should never be underestimated. One of the tournament's long-shots has suddenly become a contender.

DF: Gerard Pique (Spain)

Impressive in attack and defence, the Barcelona defender scored Spain's only goal against the Czech Republic. Partnering Sergio Ramos, La roja's defence will match Italy's in intensity.

DF: Leonardo Bonucci (Italy)

For his assist alone in Italy's opening goal, Bonucci deserved to be in the team. That wasn't his only good pass of the night however, and the Juventus defender was impeccable as part of a back-three made up of his club team-mates.

MF: Emanuele Giaccherini (Italy)

The Sunderland midfielder was on the end of Bonucci's pass for Italy's opening goal, but the 31-year-old proved with his overall performance that he will be a key figure for Conte's team over the next month.

MF: Andres Iniesta (Spain)

In his first major tournament without midfield partner Xavi, Iniesta showed why he remains at the fulcrum of Vicente del Bosque's team. The Barcelona midfielder made life difficult for the Czech Republic all-day in Toulouse with incisive passing and scintillating footwork.

MF: Dmitri Payet (France)

France needed a hero on the opening night of the tournament, and the West Ham star stepped up. His late goal and tearful reaction to being substituted will remain one of the highlights of the tournament.

MF: Wes Hoolahan (Ireland)

After years of neglect, Wes Hoolahan had his moment in the Parisian sun against Sweden. A man-of-the-match performance saw the Norwich star also score one of the goals of the competition so far to secure his place in Irish sporting lore.

MF: Laszlo Kleinheisler (Hungary)

The major shock in the opening round of fixtures was Hungary's 2-0 win over Austria, and the 22-year-old Werder Bremen player was his side's star performer on the night too.

ST: Graziano Pelle (Italy)

When Southampton's striker is the one leading Italy's attack, you know their striking well isn't the deepest. The Italian showed why Antonio Conte put faith in him however, as his beautiful volley to score late on helped Italy put one foot in the second round already.

ST: Arkadiusz Milik (Poland)

Poland found it very difficult to break down Northern Ireland's defence. Robert Lewandowski was unable to do so, but team-mate Milik profited from the space he created and scored the winning goal. The team will hope both men continue to impress in the coming games.


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