Euro Under-21 Top Five Players of the Tournament, featuring Boadu and Wirtz

Martin Macdonald
Florian Wirtz

Florian Wirtz

As well as tournaments like the U-21 World Cup, the U-21 European Championships gives football fans a glimpse of the future.

While the stars of today will be plying their trade in the senior Euros in a few days time, the stars of tomorrow have been given a platform to impress also.

Germany eventually won the tournament after defeating Portugal 1-0 in the final, while Spain and the Netherlands reached the semi-final stage.

Some young stars stepped up on the international stage to really show their potential.

So, who were the best performers from the Under-21 European Championships?

Lukas Nmecha (Germany)

Germany had a number of outstanding performers at the Euros, in particular Ridle Baku, Niklas Dorsch and Florian Wirtz.

But it was Nmecha who scored the goals that took an unfancied Germany side to glory as he finished top-scorer at the finals.

The Manchester City-owned striker, who played for England earlier on at youth level, scored four goals at the tournament.

This included the winner in the final itself against Portugal.

Dany Mota (Portugal)

Dany Mota has, rather unrealistically, been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, the Monza attacker showed moments of genius during these Euros that even his former Juventus teammate will have been proud of.

Mota scored the goal of the tournament during the thrilling 4-3 semi-final win over Italy with a stunning bicycle kick.

He scored three goals in total during the finals, including a vital effort in the group stage win over England.

Myron Boadu (Netherlands)

Boadu demonstrated why many feel that he should have been called up to the Netherlands senior team for Euro 2020.

The AZ striker was the hero in the quarter-final as he displayed clinical finishing to dump out red-hot favourites France.

The 20-year-old scored twice – including with virtually the last kick of the game – in a 2-1 win.

He scored three goals in total in the tournament as the Dutch were eliminated in the semi-finals

Florian Wirtz

Florian Wirtz has already started to emerge from the shadow of Kai Havertz at Bayer Leverkusen with his performances at club level, and has now made his mark on the international stage, too.

Wirtz was Germany’s creator in chief in the latter stages of the tournament but also found his goalscoring touch.

In the semi-final against the Netherlands he scored both goals as Germany won 2-1, with him playing in a different role on the right of the attack that he does for Leverkusen.

Fabio Vieira

Fabio Vieira was officially named as the Player of the Tournament by UEFA delegates and with good reason.

After coming on as a substitute in the opening game to score the winning goal against Croatia, he would start every subsequent game in the tournament and continued to show his importance to the team in the semi-final when he scored the winning goal against Spain.

Dusan Fitzel, part of the panel who decided on the award, gave reasoning for the decision:

"During the tournament, he was a key player for Portugal. A playmaker who creates a lot of chances. An excellent link between midfield and attack."