Germany might have been eliminated from the European Championship at the hands of England but at least the Bundesliga has received some good publicity courtesy of individual players from other nations.
Here we look at five Bundesliga stars making waves at the Euros.
Number 5. Lukas Hradecky, Bayer Leverkusen
Has Hradecky made waves? Arguably you could say no but he certainly played a starring role in Finland’s flirtation with a top-two spot in Group B.
Unfortunately, the Finns maiden Euros tournament ended in elimination but Hradecky was a big part of what allowed their fans to dream. He produced a string of saves in their opening victory against Denmark including a penalty save to deny Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Sure, Finland went on to lose the next two matches to Russia and Belgium but at no point were they disgraced. The fact the Leverkusen keeper produced 13 saves from the 15 attempts he faced, we think he deserves some recognition.
Number 4. Marcel Sabitzer, RB Leipzig
The next name on our list is Austria’s Marcel Sabitzer. There won’t be many people unfamiliar with Sabitzer’s name given his links to some of the perceived bigger clubs in world football. What might have come as a surprise to those who haven’t seen him all that much is the sort of player he is.
Sure he averaged 2.5 shots per game, made good use of the ball with 1.3 key passes and a 87.2% accuracy but his work rate in that Austrian midfield was second to none; literally, up to the end of the round of 16 nobody has covered more ground than Sabitzer. It’s been a tournament where fans of those clubs targeting him would have said ‘he’s got everything’.
Number 3. Thorgan Hazard, Borussia Dortmund
When you think about Belgium it’s so easy to default to Romelu Lukaku, former Wolfsburg man Kevin de Bruyne or Eden Hazard. It’s the other Hazard that is stealing the headlines at the moment though. Injuries disrupted his season in Germany but any complaints are long gone.
He’s only played three of the four matches to date but already has two goals to his name; that’s more than he managed in 16 Bundesliga appearances. Hazard popped up with an important leveller against Denmark in the group and then, in the round of 16 match against Portugal, he hit the only goal of the match. It wasn’t bad either; 20 yards out with plenty of swerve.
Number 2. Patrik Schick, Bayer Leverkusen
There will be plenty of football fans across Europe and further around the world who didn’t know Patrik Schick’s name before the Euros kicked off. They know the name now. He burst onto the Euro 2020 scene with a towering header. With 1.87m, he wouldn’t be one of the top 10 tallest players in NBA history, but in soccer impulsion counts more than height.
Then a thunderous near halfway line strike against Scotland whilst his all round game has seen him lauded as a handful; power, movement and clinical finishing have been his bag.
A penalty versus Croatia and a right place, right time goal against the Netherlands means he is well and truly in the hunt for the golden boot. Let us remind you, Schick scored just nine goals in the Bundesliga last season – he has four goals in the Euros already!
Number 1. Emil Forsberg, RB Leipzig
Sitting top of our list of the Bundesliga stars taking Euro 2020 by storm is Emil Forsberg. Anyone who watches the German leagues on even a semi-regular basis will know about the talents of the Leipzig man but he’s taking things to another level for Sweden. The Swedes might have been knocked out by Ukraine in the round of 16 but, even so, there was only one name on the lips of pundits and fans afterwards – Emil Forsberg.
The obvious thing to note is the four goals he scored but with an 85.2% passing success and the fact he’s only been disposed an average of once per match it’s his ability to control games that has raised eyebrows further afield in Europe.
There you have it, the Bundesliga stars making waves at the Euros.