The UEFA Player of the Tournament award is given to the individual that stands out the most during the month of football, as judged by the association’s ‘technical observers’.
Since the first iteration of the award in 1996, five of the six winners have been part of the tournament winning squad, with Antoine Griezmann the first recipient that did not win the championship with his nation after firing France to the final in 2016.
France are rightly favourites to win Euro 2020 in my view, containing all the qualities a squad needs to win back-to-back major tournaments. On that basis, I’m looking to a couple of their players to potentially win the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award outside those at the shortest prices.
Bet on Euro 2021 Player of the Tournament
N’Golo Kante was arguably performing better than any player in Europe in the latter stages of the 2020/21 season, staring for Chelsea following Thomas Tuchel’s introduction as manager.
Kante picked up four man of the match trophies in the Champions League knockout stages including in both legs of the semi-final and the final itself, proving that the midfield general can perform on the biggest of stages.
Kante is 20/1 with Bet365 to win the award and is worth putting some money behind.
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My second pick for this market is Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid forward has had one of his best ever seasons for the Galacticos, dragging his generally underperforming team to a Champions League semi-final and 2nd in La Liga with 29 goals in 44 appearances in those competitions.
Benzema has been exiled from the France squad for six years following a scandal involving former team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, but his reinstatement to the squad seems to have gone well.
The striker stated in a recent press conference that he is the “happiest man in the world” since coming back in to the fold, with fellow countryman Paul Pogba lavishing praise on Benzema by saying that recent training sessions have felt like he’s “never been gone”.
Benzema is seemingly full of confidence heading into the Euros and leading the line for such a strong team should lead to plenty of chances and goals.
On the above basis, 40/1 looks far too big with SkyBet for Benzema to win the award, especially as he is as short at 16/1 elsewhere so we’re getting value by shopping around.
Player of the tournament selections:
2 Units – N’Golo Kante to win Player of the Tournament @ 20/1 – Bet365
1 Unit – Karim Benzema to win Player of the Tournament @ 40/1 – SkyBet