UEFA Euro 2024 Preview: Team of the Tournament & Best Starting XI

UEFA Euro 2024 Preview: Team of the Tournament & Best Starting XI

This article is part of our UEFA EURO 2024 series.

With UEFA Euro 2024 around the corner, a few of our writers built their best starting XI from all 24 teams in the tournament. Following heated discussion, RotoWire's Ian Faletti, Paulina Vairo and Will Van Dinter built an 11-man lineup with each country only being represented once. Formation wise, they landed on a 4-2-2-2 that will allow the midfield to float where needed.

Don't agree? Let us know in the comments below.

More Euro 2024 Content

Projected Lineups & Odds

Corner, Set Piece and Penalty Takers

Bracket Breakdown & Staff Predictions

Top Five Sleepers & Dark Horses

Yann Sommer, Goalkeeper, Switzerland

After winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan, Sommer earns a spot in the best starting XI. The keeper finally found a consistent home in Milan after a somewhat failed attempt at Bayern Munich, showcasing that age is just a number. He made 19 clean sheets in 34 appearances, allowing just 16 goals in league play this past season. With Sommer locked into the No. 1 role with the Swiss national team, the high-level shot stopper is a main reason they could be a dark-horse candidate. -Vairo

Jeremie Frimpong, Right-back, Netherlands

Frimpong was a bit of a contentious pick, not for anything he did for his club, as he was brilliant during a wonder campaign for Bayer Leverkusen. It was more about the lack of playing time for his national team, as Denzel Dumfries figures to see starting chances despite being benched domestically. Still, Frimpong's nine goals and seven assists on the way to an invincible Bundesliga title make him impossible to ignore in our combined XI. He may be somewhat suspect defensively, but his ability to join the attack and provide width from the back is nearly unmatched across Europe. -Faletti

Ruben Dias, Center-back, Portugal

Dias is coming off another season as one of the top defenders in the Premier League, leading to his inclusion in this team. Statistically, it was one of his better seasons, registering 30 interceptions, 39 tackles and 75 clearances, only doing better in the 2020/21 campaign when he won the Premier League Player of the Season award. He's one of the better on-ball defenders around, as his poise is often unmatched and he has no problem beating a press. If Portugal want any chance of making a deep run into the tournament, they will need Dias and the back line to be at their best. -Van Dinter 

Josko Gvardiol, Center-back, Croatia

Gvardiol is easily Croatia's top defender and will bolster the middle of their defense despite mostly playing left-back with Manchester City this season. He's not only solid in the back, but he can also carry the ball up the field to provide a goal contribution after notching six in his final 10 appearances with City. He has seen some of his best football with the national team and is primed for a great Euro 2024 after the way he ended the club campaign. -Van Dinter 

Federico Dimarco, Left-back, Italy

We came close to including both Inter wing-backs, but in the end we settled for just Dimarco. His offensive return was brilliant, recording five goals and six assists while creating an absurd 61 chances. But he might be even better defensively, as exemplified by Inter's ridiculous defensive record of 22 goals conceded across 38 league matches. Dimarco's ability on both sides of the ball earned him the nod over some other excellent left-backs, namely Andrew Robertson. Italy figure to be equally excellent defensively at the Euros and Dimarco should be a major part of that. -Faletti

Rodri, Defensive Midfielder, Spain

Rodri was a name we couldn't leave out of this team as one of the best midfielders in the world, proving to always be important at the club level. His defensive capabilities are high and he's great in the attack when needed, able to pick out a pass from anywhere on the pitch, finishing with nine goals and 12 assists across all competitions with City. He is bound to be a centerpiece of Spain's team and is likely to have more touches than any other player in the tournament. -Van Dinter

Kevin De Bruyne, Defensive Midfielder, Belgium

De Bruyne was not missing our team of the tournament in what will likely be his last Euro, hence our decision to list him as a defensive midfielder despite playing primarily in the attack. He's coming off a season hindered by injuries but still finished with 22 goal contributions across all competitions. His biggest highlight of the last season was his third-place finish for assists in the Premier League despite playing in half as many games as the rest of the players on the top of that chart, registering 10. This is probably the final attempt at glory for the Belgium golden generation, if you still want to call it that, with De Bruyne playing a prominent role if they want to best their third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup. -Van Dinter

Jude Bellingham, Attacking Midfielder, England

Bellingham is fresh off his first season with Real Madrid and is now a frontrunner for the Ballon d'Or. He led Real Madrid to another La Liga title and their sixth Champions League trophy in 10 years. He is a worthy choice for the best starting XI after recording 19 goals with six assists in 28 La Liga appearances, and four goals and five assists in 11 UCL appearances, which earned him the tournament's Best Young Player award. With England still searching for their first international trophy in 58 years, Bellingham will be the frontrunner to lead the young English team to glory after a promising 2022 World Cup. -Vairo

Florian Wirtz, Attacking Midfielder, Germany

Wirtz was one of the easiest inclusions in this combined XI. The Bundesliga player of the season, his incredible ability across a front three and lethal accuracy from dead balls is a must have. Jamal Musiala is certainly a brilliant option in this same role, but after Wirtz's 11 goals and 11 assists for Leverkusen, he was too good to look past. Wirtz missed out at the 2022 World Cup due to injury, but he's fit again and seems set to play a huge role as Germany look to take home the title in front of the home crowd. -Faletti

Kylian Mbappe, Forward, France

Real Madrid's latest signing is an obvious choice for the best starting XI. He just completed his final season with Paris Saint-Germain where he won another Ligue 1 and Coupe de France title. His overall skill set combined with pace and top-level finishing make him a nuisance for any opponent. With 27 league goals, he won the Golden Boot for Ligue 1 while also tying Harry Kane for the top spot in the Champions League Golden Boot with eight goals. After almost single-handedly leading France to the 2022 World Cup final win, Mbappe remains France's top option as he seeks his first Euro title. -Vairo

Artem Dovbyk, Forward, Ukraine

Dovbyk had an outstanding campaign at Girona, who finished a surprising third in La Liga en route to Champions League action next season. Joining from Ukraine's SC Dnipro, the 26-year-old scored 24 goals and tallied eight assists in 36 league appearances. He also scored a pivotal goal in the UEFA playoff semifinals against Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading Ukraine to qualify after defeating Iceland. While not the biggest name at the Euros, he may be in arguably the best goal-scoring form of anyone. -Vairo

Bench

There were a few players who just missed out but still managed a spot on the bench. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia nearly came into the starting XI after another productive season with Napoli, while Dominik Szoboszlai was dropped in favor of De Bruyne. Andrew Robertson nearly got the left-back call, though after he missed a large portion of the season, we gave the nod to Dimarco. Finally, Jan Oblak was left on the outside looking in by the excellence of Sommer. -Faletti

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Ian Faletti
Ian Faletti has been a fan of almost all esports (and sports) his entire life. He has been writing about esports since 2012, with his work appearing on RotoWire, ESPN and other entities. Ian cheers for Fnatic, the Nationals, and the Capitals.
Paulina Vairo
Paulina writes about fantasy soccer for RotoWire. She has been part of the Rotowire team since July of 2022.
Will Van Dinter
I graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School and attended University of Wisconsin-Madison for one year. I support all Wisconsin sports teams, with UW-Madison athletics being the highest of my priorities while the Green Bay Packers are not trailing far behind. My whole life revolves around soccer and the highest tiers of competition in the sport. When it comes to my favorite team, there is only one thing I can say: Manchester bleeds blue. I am also a huge fan of combat sports, with wrestling holding a special place in my heart, as I truly think it is the most underrated sport in America.
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