2020 in football: These top 5 players will set the field on fire
While Euro 2020 will see the best players dazzle and mesmerise with their talent in June, mid-day looks at five superstars, who are expected to set the field ablaze in a bid to taste glory at the biggest football event of the year
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Despite missing out on individual awards last year, Cristiano Ronaldo had a memorable season with the Portugal national team. He guided Portugal to their first UEFA Nations League Finals title victory in June. He then continued his prolific form, scoring 11 times and in the process, helped the defending champions qualify for Euro 2020. At 34, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's leadership qualities and big-tournament experience will be vital for Portugal when they meet world champions France and Germany in the quadrennial event. Ronaldo will look for one last crack in what might be his final international tournament.
Harry Kane (England)
PROBABLY, one of the best strikers in the world, Harry Kane, 26, led Tottenham Hotspur to the UEFA Champions League final last season. He then played a key role in the Three Lions's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. The England captain finished the qualifiers as the top scorer with 12 goals as his team registered seven wins in their eight qualifiers. His goal-scoring prowess will be crucial in his team's progress in the continental showdown. The 24-team European Championship will be a perfect opportunity for Kane to win a major trophy with England and establish himself as a great player.
Virgil van Dijk (The Netherlands)
VIRGIL van Dijk, 28, is one of the best defenders going around today. The Dutch star led Liverpool to the Champions League title victory last season and narrowly missed out on the English Premier League crown with a second-place finish behind Manchester City. He then guided the Netherlands to the final of the UEFA Nations League, where they lost to Portugal. The UEFA Player of the Year has been an integral part in the Dutch's securing qualification to their first international event since the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Van Dijk's ability to marshal the defence as well as his skill to score from a set-piece will be crucial if the Ronald Koeman-managed team have to progress in Euro 2020 Group C which includes Ukraine and Austria.
Eden Hazard (Belgium)
EDEN Hazard, 28, was the star of Belgium's Euro 2020 qualifiers, which saw Roberto Martínez's men win all 10 of their qualifiers. The attacking midfielder scored five goals and made seven assists in his team's campaign. Having finished third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Hazard will be keen to go one step further and add the Euro winners medal to his collection. Despite his early struggles at Real Madrid following his move from Chelsea last summer, Hazard has regained form and has since become a key member for the Spanish giants. His sublime touch and speed will be vital if Belgium have to lay their hands on the trophy.
Kylian Mbappe (France)
KYLIAN Mbappe, 21, played a key role in France winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where he was declared best young player. The PSG star will look to add one more international trophy to his cabinet. The winger scored thrice and made three assists as the Didier Deschamps-managed team finished top of their group, winning eight of their 10 qualifiers. Mbappe's threatening pace and finishing ability makes him the player to watch out for. His link-up play with Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba will be crucial for France at the Euro 2020.
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