Euro 2024: Arda Guler, Lamine Yamal and the 3 Best Players Who Shone After First Round of Games

Euro 2024: Arda Guler, Lamine Yamal and the 3 Best Players Who Shone After First Round of Games

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
June 19, 2024 at 10:51 AM
In this article:
Arda Güler logo
Real Madrid logoMTurkey logo
Lamine Yamal logo
FC Barcelona logoFSpain logo
N'Golo Kanté logo
N. Kanté
Al-Ittihad Club logoMFrance logo
Florian Wirtz logo
F. Wirtz
Bayer Leverkusen logoMGermany logo
Jamal Musiala logo
Bayern Munich logoFGermany logo
UEFA European Championship logo
Turkey logo
Spain logo
France logo
Germany logo
  • Euro 2024 is up and running, with all 24 teams having played their opening matches, and so far, it's been a delightful spectacle
  • Arda Guler, Lamine Yamal and N'Golo Kante have been some of the standout names in the ongoing competition in Germany
  • Sports Brief takes a look at the five best-performing players who took the spotlight after starring in the first round of games

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And just like that, the first round of matches at the ongoing 2024 European Championship has concluded, with 12 captivating games unfolding.

A total of 34 goals were scored in these dozen games, averaging 2.84 goals per game, underscoring the thrilling nature of the matches.

N'Golo Kante, Lamine Yamal, Arda Guler, Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Germany, Turkey, France, Turkey, first round, standout, performers, Euro 2024.
Lamine Yamal, N'Golo Kante and Arda Guler delivered standout displays in the opening week of the ongoing Euro 2024. Photos by Masashi Hara, Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto and Soccrates Images.
Source: Getty Images

Like Oliver Twist, football enthusiasts and pundits alike crave more of such excitement or even an enhanced version of what match day one delivered as the second round of games approaches.

Before Croatia and Albania kick off round two, let's reflect on the recent highlights and spotlight the top five players who shone brightly in the competition's opening matches.

Here's a rundown of those standout performers.

1. Jamal Musiala

Let's kick off with Germany's darling boy, Jamal Musiala, who played a pivotal role in Die Mannschaft's comprehensive win over Scotland.

The 21-year-old put on an outstanding display, clinching the man-of-the-match accolade and sealing Germany's 5-1 triumph with a spectacular goal that rippled the net on the tournament's opening day.

UEFA's Technical Observer Panel noted, "Musiala showed a positive attitude to the game as well as his quality,"
"His movement, balance, energy and enthusiasm shone, with a great goal and some great take-ons as well."

2. Florian Wirtz

Another standout in Germany's victory over Scotland was Florian Wirtz, who had the distinction of netting the tournament's first goal just 10 minutes into the match.

The reigning Bundesliga Player of the Year demonstrated why he is one of the most sought-after young talents in the sport with his intelligent runs, which troubled Scotland's defence throughout his 63-minute stint on the field.

The Leverkusen playmaker set a new record as the youngest player to score for Germany at the Euros, at 21 years and 42 days old, surpassing Kai Havertz's previous mark, per the Bundesliga.

3. Lamine Yamal

The young stars are making a splash at Euro 2024, and Lamine Yamal is no exception.

The Barcelona prodigy set a new record as the youngest player to appear in the Euros, debuting against Croatia at just 16 years and 338 days old, according to Sky Sports.

The Catalan sensation is a mix of creativity, intelligence, audacity, and wit.

Remarkably, he'll still be just 16 when the tournament concludes. To emphasise his youth, Yamal humorously revealed last week that he had to bring his homework along for the journey in Germany.

4. Arda Guler

Nicknamed the 'Turkish Messi' for his playing style, which resembles that of the empyrean Lionel Messi, Arda Guler made a sensational mark on the international stage with a long-range strike.

In the first half at a rain-soaked Signal Iduna Park, Guler created three chances, more than any other player on the pitch.

Remarkably, he completed all 29 of his passes in the opening 45 minutes, the only player to do so.

According to talkSPORT, he capped off his stellar performance with a stunning goal and received a standing ovation as he was substituted.

His achievement of being the youngest player to score on his European Championship debut, at 19 years and 114 days, breaks Cristiano Ronaldo's 2004 record.

5. N'Golo Kante

One of the most surprising additions to the French squad, and indeed the tournament as a whole, was N'Golo Kante.

The former Chelsea and Leicester City midfield general turned back the clock with a classic performance that left many in awe of his tenacity.

No French player made more tackles than the 33-year-old, and only William Saliba surpassed him in ball recoveries and possession wins in the defensive and middle thirds of the pitch.

Kante's most crucial intervention came five minutes from the end when Patrick Wimmer broke through after dispossessing Saliba, only to be thwarted by Kante's relentless coverage.

4 takeaways from Euro 2024 matchday one

All 24 teams at Euro 2024 have completed their opening matches, and the performances have been largely impressive. Sports Brief highlights four key takeaways from the first round.

The smaller teams have stood their ground against the traditional powerhouses, while some favourites have stumbled in their initial games.

Hosts Germany delivered the most convincing performance, winning 5-1 over Scotland, whereas favourites France were given a tough challenge by a determined Austria.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.