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The Roker Ramble: Euro 2012 Team Of The Tournament

Andrea Pirlo Panenka's his way into our central midfield, but who joins him? Read on and find out.
Andrea Pirlo Panenka's his way into our central midfield, but who joins him? Read on and find out.

Euro 2012 has come to a close with Spain being crowned champions following a 4-0 thumping over Italy in Sunday's final in Kiev, and now following the footballing feast we've been served up over the tournament, we can pick out the individuals we feel impressed the most.

We, like many others, have decided to provide our own Team Of The Tournament, in what looks like it will probably be a narrow 4-4-2 formation, along with pointing out the other notable contenders for each position. Here's who caught our eye and made it into the team...

GK: Gianluigi Buffon

There were questions over Buffon headed into the tournament about whether or not the 34-year old still had what it takes at the very top level, however he's proved to be ageless and has once again been fantastic for Italy throughout the tournament.

Taking his team to the final, marshaling a defence which changed personnel and formation without question or fuss, Buffon is my best keeper of the tournament.

(Contenders: Joe Hart, Iker Casillas)

RB: Mathieu Debuchy

Debuchy came into the tournament with only a handful of caps, but he looks to have cemented a place in the French national side for years to come with a series of fine performances at right-back for Les Bleus.

Debuchy looks like he could be on the move, perhaps even to our near neighbours Newcastle, and if he did I'd have to admit I'd be very envious as he's looked top quality so far, defending well and attacking with verve and emerging as a real shining light from what was an ultimately poor showing from France on a whole.

(Contenders: Theodor Gebre Selassie, Glen Johnson)

LB: Jordi Alba

Spain's defence has only conceded one goal on the way to the final, and while Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique has been fantastic, it's Jordi Alba's all action displays which have really caught the eye. Alba seems to be just so incredibly consistent, and full of hard work for his side.

It's little wonder he's caught the eye (again) of Barcelona, the club who released him on a free transfer in 2005, who've snapped him up for £11m. Alba capped a great tournament with a belting goal in the final.

(Contenders: Fabio Coentrao, Ashley Cole)

CB: Mats Hummels

Many thought taking Hummels to the tournament was a gamble, but it paid off in spades for Joachim Low, forming a great partnership with Holger Badstuber for the Germans.

The Dortmund defender only marred his growing reputation in the semifinal with Italy with a sub-par performance, but the solidness he showed throughout the tournament prior to that is sure to see him become a mainstay of the side, and possibly attract attention from other clubs as Manchester United are rumoured to be sniffing around.

(Contenders: Sergio Ramos, Pepe)

CB: John Terry

Probably not a popular choice, but personal problems and opinions aside, it could be argued that Terry had some of his best games for England during the tournament as he was solid as a rock throughout, and credit to him for putting his issues aside and being able to play to a high level.

England didn't have a massive amount of names who performed to their very, very best, but Terry was one of them.

(Contenders: Bruno Alves, Gerard Pique)

MF: Andres Iniesta

When it comes to Iniesta, we're just going to have to say he's very, very good. Which may sound like faint praise indeed, perhaps under estimating him a tad, but it's basically because to my knowledge there isn't a word suitable to dish out high enough praise to the midfield magician.

Iniesta has had a fine tournament, and been a key cog in the Spanish machine, and it is a machine, as they rumbled to the final. The lack of a recognised striker in some games forced Iniesta into a more attacking role, but there was absolutely no drop off in performances.

(Contenders: Alan Dzagoev, Sami Khedira)

MF: Andrea Pirlo

Not just a class apart against England, but masterful throughout the tournament, and perhaps even better in the semifinal with Germany. Pirlo looks every inch perhaps the official Player Of The Tournament.

Pirlo, like several of his other Italian teammates has proved that age it little more than a number, and Pirlo has graced us with some unbelieveable passing, awareness and teamplay which can't be lauded enough. Oh, that penalty was pretty decent too.

(Contenders: Joao Moutinho, Bastian Schweinstiger)

MF: Daniele De Rossi

He might look a bit daft with the one long-sleeve, one short sleeve look, but De Rossi has been absolute quality whether it be at the heart of the Italian midfield or the heart of their defence as he was against Spain in the opening group game. After a tail off for a few years, De Rossi is restablishing himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe, providing the legs for Pirlo's vision.

(Contenders: Vaclav Pilar, Jakob Blaszczykowski)

MF: Mesut Ozil

Whoever it was Ozil lined up behind in attack, be it Mario Gomez or Miroslav Klose, it didn't effect the form or the stylish play from the 23-year old who teased, tormented and generally annoyed opposing defenders every time he found himself in possession.

For a while Germany looked the team to beat at Euro 2012, and this was in the man down to the trickery and talent of the Real Madrid man.

(Contenders: Petr Jiracek, David Silva)

FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

CR7 got off to a very, very slow start to the tournament, and for a while it looked like he was set to spend more time taking pot-shots at Leo Messi as opposed to actually doing anything himself, but eventually Ronaldo stepped up to the plate.

The Real Madrid star was outstanding 2-goal performance against the Netherlands, and was simply unstoppable against Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

(Contenders: Mario Mandzukic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

FW: Mario Balotelli

A divisive character to say the least, it looked as though we were going to see Bad Balotelli as opposed to Brilliant Balottelli when he fluffed a sitter against Spain in the opening group game, but since then Balotelli has gone on to be a menace to defences throughout the tournament.

Balotelli scored a stunning goal against Ireland in the groups, was a constant torment for England in the quarterfinal, and was absolutely on fire against Germany in the semifinal where he scored two beautiful goals.

A unique player, a one who you love or hate, yet overall we love him for being exactly who he is. If that makes any sense.

(Contenders: Mario Gomez, Nicklas Bendtner)

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