MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 14:03:14| >> :600:1284058:1284058:

Five players to keep an eye on as Euro 2020 heads into knockout round

Five players to keep an eye on as Euro 2020 heads into knockout round
© Reuters
A look at five players who will look to lead their country to glory.

Euro 2020 has reached the last-16 stage.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five players to watch in the knockout rounds.

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)

Kevin De Bruyne has returned from injury to deliver some influential performances for Belgium
Kevin De Bruyne has returned from injury to deliver some influential performances for Belgium (Wolfgang Rattay/AP/Press Association Images)

Belgium have sparkled in fits and starts and look like they could have another gear. Holders Portugal – and the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo – stand in their way in the next round but, if they get through that mouth-watering clash, the Red Devils will be serious contenders for the crown. Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne, now fit after injury kept him out of the first game and a half, is their chief inspiration. He already has a goal and two assists to his name and his link-up play with in-form striker Romelu Lukaku makes Belgium a deadly proposition.

Emil Forsberg (Sweden)

The RB Leipzig midfielder has enjoyed a superb start to the tournament as Sweden have emerged as one of the surprise packages, topping Group E ahead of Spain. The 29-year-old, who has been linked with Bayern Munich, has netted three times, including a double against Poland. He may not be the huge presence Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have been if fit, but he is proving an effective figurehead in his own way.

Luka Modric (Croatia)

The Croatian scored a superb goal against Scotland
The Croatian scored a superb goal against Scotland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Croatia looked laboured in their opening defeat against England and some even dared to suggest that Modric was past it. If the performance against Scotland in their last game is anything to go by, however, reports of their demise are premature. Modric looked every inch the world-class player he has been in a highly influential display, capped by a stunning goal. With Modric at their heart, Croatia will hope to rekindle the spirit that carried them to the 2018 World Cup final.

Mikkel Damsgaard (Denmark)

The Sampdoria winger, regarded as the next big thing in Danish football, has made a big impression in the early stages of Euro 2020. The 20-year-old has stepped up in the absence of Christian Eriksen and netted with a brilliant long-range strike as the Danes clinched their place in the last 16 with a memorable 4-1 win over Russia in Copenhagen. His value is rising and the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Tottenham are reportedly interested.

Karim Benzema (France)

Benzema was back in the goals for France against Portugal
Benzema was back in the goals for France against Portugal (Franck Fife/AP/Press Association Images)

Eyebrows were raised when the Real Madrid talisman was recalled by Didier Deschamps for the tournament after a six-year absence. His talent has never been in doubt but there were questions over the state of his relationship with the manager and how he would fit into a squad already bursting with star players. His early run-outs alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann lacked fluency but it may only have been a matter of time. His double against Portugal on Wednesday suggested things may just have clicked at the right time.

ID:452682: cacheID:452682:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:10317:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Aymeric Laporte celebrates scoring for Spain against Slovakia at Euro 2020 on June 23, 2021
Read Next:
Euro 2020 Team of the Week - Ronaldo, De Bruyne, Pogba

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!