4 Young Players that May Set Euro 2012 Alight From Group B

Here is a look at one young player from each of the 4 Group B teams most likely to make an impact for their respective country at the Euro 2012. If you missed the one for Group A, read it here.

Group B


Christian Eriksen


Date of Birth14 Feb, 1992 (age 20)
PositionAttacking midfielder
International Caps22
International Goals2

Stats for 2011/12


Player Profile

Blessed with exceptional technical abilities, wide passing range, good dribbling skills, great vision and a fine striker of the ball, Christian Eriksen at 20 is destined for a big future. Eriksen has developed tremendously into a fine playmaker in the last couple of years. Contributing with some virtuoso performances, he has had an excellent season with Ajax, helping them lift a second consecutive league title. Comparisons with the legendary Danish midfielder Michael Laudrup by the media have been inevitable and if he keeps on performing the way he has been over the last two years, there is every possibility that he will be able to match those lofty comparisons.

Probability of making an impact at the Euro 2012 – 4/5

No one is giving Denmark a chance of qualifying from the dreaded group of death but if they are to qualify a lot will depend on the young shoulders of Christian Eriksen. He is a sure starter for Denmark and he will most probably be deployed as a creative playmaker in behind the lone striker Nicklas Bendtner with support coming from wingers Dennis Rommedahl and Michael Krohn-Dehli. He will certainly thrive at an opportunity to test himself against some of the best teams in the world. England fans will remember how he tormented the English defence in a recent international friendly and if he can reproduce such inspired performance against the big boys, then who knows unlikely as it may seem, Denmark might just sneak into the knock-out rounds.


Mario Götze


Date of Birth3 June, 1992 (age 19)
ClubBorussia Dortmund
PositionAttacking midfielder
International Caps14
International Goals2

Stats for 2011/12


Player Profile

Germany currently posses such an embarrassing riches of talented young players at international level it almost seems unfair. Likes of Toni Kroos, Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Lars Bender are just some of the fantastic young players the Germans have at their disposal. Even with a squad containing a list of such wonderfully talented young footballers, one player who stands out is attacking midfielder Mario Gotze. This 19 year sensation has to be one of the top 5 young players in the world today. He has already achieved so much in his young career playing a pivotal role in helping Dortmund win back to back Bundesliga titles. He was also awarded the European under-21 player of the year in 2011. ‘Baby faced’ Gotze is not the most imposing figure but when he runs at defenders with his magnificent dribbling skills and with such poise and grace, he certainly strikes fear into the hearts of even the most established and experienced defenders, which is an absolute joy to watch. Gotze is already a star and will get only better in the future.

Probability of making an impact at the Euro 2012 3.5/5

Talented as Gotze is, it is astonishing that he will most probably not be handed a starting berth. Such is the strength and quality of the German team. Mesut Ozil will most probably be favoured over Gotze for player maker role at the Euros. Gotze can be deployed on the wings as well but Muller and Podolski will be the players who will most likely be preferred by Joachim Loew for a starting spot. However, fans will not be deprived of the pleasure of watching Gotze at Euros as he will most certainly be used in some capacity. He will surely be brought on as replacement for Ozil, Muller or Podolski if things are not going according to plan or to make an impact on the game, which he is more than capable of. Even if he is entrusted with a starting spot he will not look out of place having delivered some mature performances whenever he has started for Germany.


Kevin Strootman


Date of Birth13 February, 1990 (age 22)
ClubPSV Eindhoven
PositionCentral midfielder
International Caps10
International Goals1

Stats for 2011/12


Player Profile

The meteoric rise of Kevin Strootman, from second division side Sparta Rotterdam to becoming a key player for both PSV and the Dutch national team has been phenomenal. Holding midfielder Strootman is a commanding presence in the middle of the park possessing exceptional ball retaining qualities, vision and wide passing range. Strootman’s positional sense is also very good as evidenced by his ability to take up good positions and make space to receive the ball even in a crowded midfield. He plays the vital role as the connecting link from defenders to attacking players and he keeps the ball ticking along.  Such qualities have not gone unnoticed as some the top European teams keeping close tabs on his rapid development as one of the best young holding midfielders in the game.

Probability of making an impact at the Euro 2012 3.5/5

Bert van Marwijk prefers a system of two holding midfielders for Holland. With all probability Mark van Bommel is a sure starter, so it will be interesting to see whether Nigel de Jong or Kevin Strootman get starting place alongside van Bommel. Kevin Strootman is a player, who can keep the ball ticking along which allows more freedom to players such as Wesley Sneijder or Rafael van der Vaart to do the creative work. He will be a completely different proposition to de Jong who is a more of a tough tackling ball winner. It is now upto van Marwijk if Strootman will get place in the starting line-up but if he does, Strootman possess all the qualities to do a very do job for Holland.


Nélson Oliveira


Date of Birth8 August, 1991 (age 20)
International Caps3
International Goals0

Stats for 2011/12


Player Profile

Nelson Oliveira is one of the bright young prospects to emerge from Portuguese football and is very highly regarded by both club and country. Oliveira has impressed at the youth level guiding Portugal to a runners’ up finish at the U-20 World Cup finals held in Colombia, where he also picked up the Silver ball award for being adjudged the second best player in the tournament. He certainly has the looks and the potential of developing into a fine player in the future. Having already broken into the Benfica first team he will be hoping to make a mark for Portugal as well.  He will gain vital experience at the Euros which can only aid in the development of this potentially world class striker.

Probability of making an impact at the Euro 2012 2/5

He has virtually no chance of being handed the starting berth at the Euros with illustrious names such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Helder Postiga and Hugo Almeida ahead of him in the pecking order for the position of the striker. However, he can be used as a wildcard by manager Paulo Bento as he is pretty much an unknown quantity outside of Portugal and can spring a surprise or two for the opposition defenders. Making it to the Euro squad represents a huge achievement in itself for Oliveira and if he can contribute with goal or two if he is called upon it can act as a catalyst towards a successful career for the young man.

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  1. Jeff June 3, 2012
  2. Tom June 3, 2012
  3. Gary June 3, 2012
  4. Nooblior June 3, 2012
  5. alex June 4, 2012
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  7. tej June 6, 2012

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