Euro 2024 player of the tournament prediction

With just a game or two left in Europe’s top leagues, and all but the Premier League’s winners decided, attention is turning to the next big event on the football calendar. That is, of course, the European Championships and its integrated mini-competition to be the official Euro 2024 player of the tournament.

There are a whole host of teams full of serious players going to Germany, from powerhouses like England and France to dark horses such as Austria and Switzerland. But in this article, we’re going to take a look at the individuals that could light up the tournament and lead their nation to glory.

Mbappe is clear favourite to be the Euro 2024 player of the tournament
Kylian Mbappé is clear favourite to be the Euro 2024 player of the tournament – Photo by Icon Sport

Euro 2024 player of the tournament – Outright favourites

Kylian Mbappé

France superstar Kylian Mbappé needs no introduction. The 25-year-old has 44 goals and 10 assists this season for PSG.

The Real Madrid-bound forward has made an indelible mark on the World Cup, having starred in France’s 2018 win, and scored a hat-trick in the 2022 final. But he suffered Euros heartbreak in 2021, when he missed a penalty in his nation’s shootout defeat to Switzerland.

Mbappé’s relentless mentality will want to make amends for that error and go to the Bernabeu as a European champion.

Bukayo Saka

Similar to Mbappe, Saka suffered a traumatic end to his Euro 2020 campaign, as he missed his penalty in the final against Italy.

But the 22-year-old winger has gone from strength to strength, putting up a career best 20 goals and 14 assists in 2023/24. He has even overcome his penalty demons, scoring 10 of his 11 penalties since.

Saka has won England’s player of the year two years in a row, and will look to carry his superb form for club and country to Germany.

Kevin de Bruyne

At the other end of their Euros career is Kevin de Bruyne. The 32-year-old has played at two Euros already, and this will likely be his last.

De Bruyne is part of Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’, but Eden Hazard was always the star of the show for the Red Devils. This is likely de Bruyne’s last chance to win something major with his nation and comes into this tournament in astonishingly good form.

Since returning from injury in January, de Bruyne has scored or assisted every 66 minutes. That only proves how valuable experience is likely to be in this summers Euro finals. However, there are also plenty of ‘young' candidates, many of whom are taking on their first major international competition…

Florian Wirtz has lit up 2024 so far – Photo by Icon Sport

Euro 2024 player of the tournament – Young stars

For anyone who wants to take a chance on a player currently aged under 22, these three are a tempting proposition…

Florian Wirtz

Attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz is on the precipice of an incredible unbeaten treble with Bayer Leverkusen. He has been instrumental in their success, with 18 goals and 19 assists.

The 21-year-old German has become key to Julian Nagelsmann’s Germany setup too, and he scored a stunning goal against France earlier this year. Wirtz is in electric form, and could complete a perfect 2024 to date with a cup win on home soil this summer.

Lamine Yamal

Barcelona may be in a constant state of financial chaos these days, but they can always bank on La Masia to produce homegrown gems.

The latest freakishly-talented teenager from their fabled academy is Lamine Yamal. Spain’s youngest ever international, the 16-year-old winger has already scored twice for his country, and this summer is tipped to be a breakout one.

Simply put, Yamal has it all: the blistering pace, one-on-one skill, end product and a relentless workrate.

Kobbie Mainoo

Despite having only made his international debut in March, Kobbie Mainoo is in with a strong chance of featuring prominently for England.

Mainoo possesses an elegance and composure with the ball in deep areas that English players often lack, and is a great foil for Declan Rice.

The midfielder also has an eye for a crucial final-third contribution, as seen against Wolves and Liverpool.

Mainoo could be the technical key to England winning their first trophy for 58 years.

Granit Xhaka has thrived on his return to the Bundesliga and could be a dark horse for P.O.T.T – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise candidates

Granit Xhaka

Another player key to Bayer Leverkusen’s stellar season is Swiss captain Granit Xhaka.

Xhaka always turns up for his nation. As well as long-range thunderbolts for his country, he was awarded man-of-the-match for his dominant performance against France, as Switzerland eliminated the favourites three years ago.

The 31-year-old has been one of Europe’s finest midfielders for the last two seasons at Arsenal and Leverkusen. His left foot produces some of the world’s best passes, and Xhaka’s determination and mentality is never to be doubted.

Benjamin Šeško

Our final candidate also hails from the Bundesliga: Slovenian striker Benjamin Šeško.

After a slow start to life at RB Leipzig, Šeško has burst to life in the second half of the season, scoring in his last six games in a row.

Šeško is a modern striker in the image of Erling Haaland. He is tall and strong, standing at over 6ft4in, but disconcertingly fast for his size. He is a relentless runner and possesses a cannon of a right boot.

Slovenia are very much underdogs, but with Šeško and Atletico Madrid super-stopper Jan Oblak between the posts, they possess real quality in both boxes.

A strong performance at Euro 2024 could even help Šeško secure a move to Arsenal, who are reportedly very interested in the young forward.

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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.