Five La Liga players to watch during Euro 2024

By IANS | Published: June 13, 2024 03:55 PM2024-06-13T15:55:53+5:302024-06-13T16:00:12+5:30

New Delhi, June 13 The 2023/24 La Liga EA Sports season is over and numerous players who ply ...

Five La Liga players to watch during Euro 2024 | Five La Liga players to watch during Euro 2024

Five La Liga players to watch during Euro 2024

New Delhi, June 13 The 2023/24 La Liga EA Sports season is over and numerous players who ply their trade on Spanish soil are now gearing up for the upcoming 2024 European Championship, which is set to take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14.

This highly anticipated tournament will kick off on Friday with the opener between hosts Germany and Scotland, a game that will feature Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who has returned to international action three years after announcing his retirement from the national team in the wake of Germany’s exit in Euro 2020.

Kroos is just one of the many La Liga players expected to steal the limelight at Euro 2024.

A look at five other players worth watching when the competition gets up and running:

1) Lamine Yamal (FC Barcelona & Spain): The prodigy who could light up his first tournament

Having recorded as many as 50 appearances across all competitions in 2023/24, Lamine Yamal had a breakout year and smashed several records on his way to becoming an undisputed starter at FC Barcelona, such as becoming the youngest ever goalscorer in La Liga history.

Moreover, he has also made history with Spain by becoming the youngest debutant and goalscorer in La Roja’s history, playing and scoring in a game against Georgia when he was just 16 years and 57 days old.

Expected to start in Luis de la Fuente’s line-up, Lamine Yamal is preparing for his first international tournament and will hope to help Spain emerge through a challenging Group B, which also features reigning champions Italy, Croatia – captained by Real Madrid veteran Luka Modric – and Albania.

2) Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid & England): The Player of the Season hopes for a triumphant summer

After taking La Liga by storm and leading Real Madrid all the way to the 2023/24 title, Jude Bellingham will now look to inspire the Three Lions to their first ever European Championship trophy. The midfielder joined Los Blancos from Borussia Dortmund last summer and, in his first season with the Spanish team, he celebrated both the domestic league and Champions League titles, having recorded 23 goals and 13 assists across all competitions.

England are one of the favourites to win this tournament, given that they reached the final last time, when they lost to Italy on penalties at Wembley. Bellingham didn’t play in that final, so his presence could be the X-factor this time around.

Gareth Southgate’s team are in a Group C that also features Slovenia, Serbia and Denmark, and they’ll be hoping to go far in the tournament, aware that Bellingham is in great form and travels to Germany as a Spanish and European champion.

3) Giorgi Mamardashvili (Valencia CF & Georgia): The hero of the European Championship debutants

Giorgi Mamardashvili not only had an excellent season with Valencia CF, but he also kept two clean sheets in the playoff games against Luxembourg and Greece to help Georgia clinch their first ever European Championship participation. After defeating the former 2-0, Georgia drew 0-0 against the Greek national team, with the game going to a penalty shootout. There, it was time for Mamardashvili to shine again, with the Valencia CF shot-stopper denying Greece captain Anastasios Bakasetas to send fans at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi into a frenzy.

Georgia’s task to qualify for the Euro 2024 knockout stage will be anything but easy, as they will have to face Turkey, Portugal and Czechia, but Mamardashvili – who finished sixth in the rankings for the Zamora Trophy in LALIGA EA SPORTS in 2023/24 – will be tough to beat for all opponents he comes up against.

4) Artem Dovbyk (Girona FC & Ukraine): The Pichichi wants more goals

Having netted 24 goals in 36 LALIGA EA SPORTS appearances, Artem Dovbyk became the first Girona FC and first Ukrainian player to ever win the Pichichi prize, awarded to the top goalscorer each La Liga season. The Girona FC striker became the first player who doesn’t play for either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona to win the accolade since 2008/09, when Atlético de Madrid striker Diego Forlan earned the award.

He was instrumental to Girona FC’s incredible season, in which the underdogs finished third and secured a maiden ticket for the Champions League. Now, Dovbyk will look to punish opposition defences Euro 2024 and he’ll aim to spearhead another Cinderella story, starting off with his team’s Group E matches against Romania, Slovakia and Belgium.

5) Kylian Mbappe (Real Madrid & France): A look at Real Madrid’s new star

Real Madrid fans will have the opportunity to watch their new signing in action this summer, as Kylian Mbappe will captain France at Euro 2024. The striker is set to join Real Madrid after the tournament, with Los Blancos officially announcing his arrival just a few days after winning their 15th Champions League trophy.

After leading France all the way to FIFA World Cup glory in 2018, Mbappe netted a hat-trick in the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina, who won the trophy on penalties. He hasn’t yet won the European Championship, but hopes to inspire Les Blues to what would be the third success in this competition in their history. But, to do so, France will first need to get through a tough Group D featuring Poland, Austria and the Netherlands.

Mbappe will be keen to put on a show, aware that even more attention is on him than ever before, and he’ll be accompanied by several other La Liga stars, such as Barca defender Jules Kounde, Atleti forward Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid players Ferland Mendy, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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