Euro 2016 - Phew! Dimitri Payet not named player of the tournament after all
Rumours that Dimitri Payet was named UEFA's Player of the Tournament for Euro 2016 have proven to be greatly exaggerated.
UEFA appeared to confer the title on the West Ham forward on Monday, a seemingly baffling choice as Payet - while superb in the first two games - had thereafter been hugely overshadowed by team-mate Antoine Griezmann.
It turned out, however, that UEFA did actually intend to give the big award to Griezmann, despite trumpeting Payet as the winner of their 'player barometer' award.
The timing was all very strange, however: the UEFA announcement about Payet was bundled in with news of Renato Sanches being named young player and Griezmann getting the golden boot... with no initial mention of Payet.
That was later changed. It's almost as if people high up at UEFA have no problem with making things up as they go along, and changing the rules to suit themselves and make themselves look good. Which, of course, can't possibly be the case.
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Dimitri Payet won Player of the Tournament, Renato Sanches the Young Player award, and Antoine Griezmann took the Golden Boot at Euro 2016. And one of those choices left Alex Netherton rather baffled.
Football is not, as you might imagine, a game about goals. Oh no. It is, in fact, a game of opinions.
As such, this game serves the human instinct to rank anything and everything. Similarly, it serves perfectly the modern human habit of taking huge umbrage at people with different opinions to you. In the aftermath of the Chilcot Inquiry, Brexit, and possible collapse of the European banking system, disagreement was reaching unprecedented levels.
Thankfully, UEFA have stepped in with decisive action. Instead of allowing people to argue over who was the best player in the Euro 2016 tournament, they have used boffins to build the UEFA Player Barometer.
What is the Barometer?
This is how UEFA describe it:
“The UEFA EURO 2016 Player Barometer tracks players' form in the build-up to and during the tournament. The Barometer runs official player statistics through a specially designed algorithm to create rankings based on player performances.”
And with the tournament finished, the Barometer has worked out who the best players at Euro 2016 were, with some surprising inclusions.
The most surprising of which is that two good performances in the group stage has somehow been enough to land the Player of the Tournament accolade for Dimitri Payet.
Player of the tournament, according to the Barometer
France's Dimitri Payet kisses the boot of Antoine GriezmannReuters
1. Dimitri Payet
2. Antoine Griezmann
3. Gareth Bale
4. Toni Kroos
6. Eden Hazard
8. Mesut Ozil
9. Paul Pogba
10. Raphael Guerreiro
Young player of the tournament
Portugal's Renato Sanches Reuters
Eden Hazard and Aaron Ramsey set up the most goals with four assists each.