Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in UEFA’s all-star team, but no place for Joakim Mæhle

Kasper Schmeichel, Andreas Christensen and Simon Kjær also miss out, but make the best elevens of other media

Thomas Delaney has his admirers, but it was the also pictured Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Joakim Mæhle who really impressed for Denmark in Euro 2020 (photo: Herrelandsholdet Facebook page)
July 13th, 2021 12:56 pm| by Ben Hamilton
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In the end, only one Dane has made the UEFA all-star team: midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.

Defender Joakim Mæhle will perhaps feel hard done by, but in the end Denmark received the same number of places as losing semi-finalist Spain.

The winners Italy got five and the runners-up England three, leaving one place for Belgium.

The team in full, playing in a 4-3-3 formation, are:  Donnarumma – Walker, Bonucci, Maguire, Spinazzola – Højbjerg, Jorginho, Pedri – Chiesa, Lukaku, Sterling.

Højbjerg on most lists; Mæhle also a mainstay
A quick look through other lists (carried out by DR, so it might be somewhat skewed) confirms that Højbjerg was pretty much the most praised midfielder at Euro 2020 – and in as many teams as Donnarumma, the player of the tournament. 

GOAL magazine included both Mæhle, who was awarded best assist for his cross to set up Kasper Dolberg against the Czech Republic, and Højbjerg in a team that included six Italians.

“Despite being right-footed, Mæhle proved to be a phenomenon on the left flank with two goals and an assist,” it wrote.

“The 24-year-old was responsible for the tournament’s most insane assist when he found Kasper Dolberg with a fantastic cross off the outside of his right boot in the quarter-finals against the Czech Republic.”

Goal also praised Højbjerg: “In addition to giving three assists, Højbjerg created 11 chances in total, had 10 successful dribbles and recaptured the ball 51 times – more times than anyone else at the tournament.”

Recognition for Schmeichel, Christensen and Kjær
CBS Sports included Kasper Schmeichel in its team along with Mæhle and Højbjerg, thus giving Denmark three places, which matched England’s total. Italy only got one: Lorenzo Insigne! Somehow Toni Kroos found a place.

“The Dane ranks high without topping any of the statistics. But maybe he should, given that he set a new record for most saves in a European Championship match in the semi-final against England,” the US broadcaster wrote about Schmeichel. 

British newspaper The Independent found room for Andreas Christensen in its line-up, again with Højbjerg in the team. 

And Australia’s ABC even found a spot for captain Simon Kjær, along with Mæhle, courtesy of its decision to choose a 5-3-2, which might or might not have cost Højbjerg a place.

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