A great deal of reflection and debate went into the selection of a squad of 18 players who, in the eyes of UEFA’s technical observers, had made an impact on the final tournament. Significantly, a large number of goalkeepers were short-listed and Belgium’s Mile Svilar, a player who fulfils the modern job description of the keeper, could easily have been included had his team progressed further in the competition. His team-mate Daouda Peeters might also have made the cut, had the controlling midfielder not missed the quarter-final through suspension.
Target striker Benjamin Hadžić might also have figured among the attackers had Bosnia and Herzegovina progressed beyond the group stage. Sweden’s Henrik Bellman, Germany’s Arne Maier, Spain’s Fran García – all midfielders – along with Spain left-back Gorka Zabarte, were prominent among a number of players who deserved recognition for their contributions to team performances but who, ultimately, missed out when the list was pared down to the final squad of 18.