Football News

Euro 2024 predictions podcast: Rating the favourites to win Player of the Tournament by team and position

By Squawka News

Published: 10:35, 9 June 2024

Euro 2024 is less than a week away. 

With a summer feast of football on the horizon, we at Squawka have released our predictions for the tournament in Germany. Although lifting the trophy is the biggest aim of every player, many will also be entering with the intention of winning the Player of the Tournament award.

More Euros content:

Some incredible names have taken this personal accolade over the years. First officially awarded to Germany’s Matthias Sammer in 1996, other winners include Zinedine Zidane, Andres Iniesta and Antoine Griezmann. And between 1984 and 1992, Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Peter Schmeichel were named winners on the Uefa website before the award was made official.

Those names form the makings of a formidable combined XI and this summer, another star will emerge to add himself to the roll of honour.

So, who are the Squawka team backing to take the title, last won by Gianluigi Donnarumma at Euro 2020?

Watch the full podcast above or read on for a breakdown of what to expect.

Toni Kroos

At 16/1 with Bet365, Toni Kroos isn’t the favourite to win the award, but he’s certainly among the contenders. What’s more, with this his final dance as a professional footballer, the narrative could be on his side, especially if Germany go all the way on home soil and he plays a key role.

“He’s an influential player. He showed against Bayern Munich [in the Champions League] that in the big moments and the big games, he keeps a cool head. He slots Vinicius Jr through [to score] when Real Madrid weren’t creating much, he’s still got that killer pass,” said Squawka’s Jack Verweij. “I could definitely see him winning it if Germany were to win the tournament. And then the Ballon d’Or becomes an option with the other honours he won this season.”

Phil Foden

Half of the top eight candidates for this award are from England alone, with the Three Lions bringing a mouth-watering array of attacking talents to Germany this summer. Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are the standout contenders, but what of Phil Foden? He’s currently priced at 12/1 after an incredible season for Manchester City where he hit 27 goals and 12 assists across all competitions, winning another Premier League title.

At international level, it still feels like Foden is yet to truly ignite with only four goals and eight assists in 34 caps. But given how he stood up and hit new levels for his boyhood club this season, maybe now is the time.

“I think this has been comfortably the best season of his career so far, he’s taken his game to another level this year. Over 30 goal involvements in all competitions, he’s won the [Football] Writer’s Player of the Year, he’s probably going to win PFA Player of the Year,” said Squawka’s Dean Smith.

“I think the problem for Foden is the sheer amount of competition within his own team because Kane and Bellingham are probably more likely to get those headlines. But Foden is a serial winner, he’s won so many competitions already, so he obviously has that mentality. If he can help England in the way that he’s helped Man City, because he stood out within a City team that has so much talent this season, then he definitely has a chance.”

Euro 2024 Player of the Tournament favourites by position

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma

At 66/1, Donnarumma has the best odds of any goalkeeper to win the award. It’s not something that happens often but remember, the PSG stopper is the defending champion thanks to his penalty heroics as Italy went all the way at Euro 2020 — saving spot-kicks against both Spain and England in the semi-final and final, respectively.

Donnarumma made nine saves and kept four clean sheets in seven appearances at the last Euros and he will once again be a vital figure in an Italy side that is, to be quite frank, struggling and carrying very low expectations.

Dean said: “I know I’m really low on Italy, but I think Donnarumma is the correct choice to be the shortest-priced goalkeeper, simply because I think if Italy do go far, because they have such a lack of firepower up-front, Donnarumma is going to have to have an amazing tournament.”

Defender: Virgil van Dijk

Few teams will be relying on a centre-back as much as the Netherlands with Virgil van Dijk this summer. There’s no doubt the Oranje have talent across the pitch, but Van Dijk is just a colossus and has led Liverpool to untold success in recent years. Can he do something similar now at international level?

“If the Netherlands go far, he will probably be the reason,” Jack said of Van Dijk, who is priced at 50/1. “We already know that he came second in the Ballon d’Or (in 2019) and it was probably him voting for Messi away from winning it. He’s very friendly for awards and he’s also a threat for goals from set pieces and the best defender in the world right now.”

Midfielder: Jude Bellingham

It really feels like Jude Bellingham is on a one-man mission to win everything there is to win in football right now.

Scoring 23 goals and providing 13 assists in 42 appearances across all competitions to fire Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double is some way to introduce yourself in your first season at the club and is exactly why Bellingham, despite still being just 20 years old, is the 9/1 second favourite to win the Player of the Tournament award, as well as the 3/1 favourite for the Young Player of the Tournament award.

Remarkably, Bellingham still has just three goals and five assists to his name in 29 senior caps for England, but five of those goal involvements (2g/3a) have come in his last four outings. If the Three Lions go all the way, he’ll be a key reason why.

Winger: Kylian Mbappe

World Cup and Uefa Nations League medals, a World Cup Golden Boot and a World Cup Young Player of the Tournament award are all already in the bag for Kylian Mbappe and that’s not even mentioning his ridiculously long list of achievements at club level with PSG.

And now, his move to Real Madrid has been confirmed.

There’s a groundswell forming behind Mbappe right now and who would write him off leading this incredibly talented French side to yet more glory?

Striker: Harry Kane

“It’s hard to look past him, I’m probably his biggest fan,” Jack said of Kane, adding: “I think he’s been the best player in the world for the last season. He’s been fantastic and if it wasn’t for a freak season for Bayer Leverkusen, he would probably have his first medal and he definitely would have been Player of the Season over in the Bundesliga. If anything, he probably should have won that anyway.”

Jack has a point. Kane comes into the Euros fresh off a season where he hit 44 goals and 12 assists in 45 appearances across all competitions for Bayern Munich and will head to the now-familiar surroundings of Germany this summer. As captain and record goalscorer, Kane — an 11/1 shot — plays a key role in any hopes of English success but if he can take them all the way, it’d be hard to deny him this award.

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