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Euros has seen a show of collective effort as the superstars have left

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Euros has seen a show of collective effort as the superstars have left

Euro 2020 would be remembered for many reasons. The tournament was postponed for a year due to the pandemic. It started in 2021 in strange circumstances and partially filled grounds. When the ball was kicked, everything became secondary. Football was in the news again. One fact in particular stands out conspicuously as we enter the semi-finals. The power shift in the game is happening rapidly. Individual heroes and biggest superstars have fallen and teams that play consistently have risen in euros.

Soccer is a team sport. A strong and united unit always tries to win everything on the field. This has been the ultimate meaning of football. In the last twenty years or to be precise since the new Millennium this trend has changed. Very talented and influential players and so-called superstars have emerged in the game. Their talent and ability to draw in a crowd has given them greater than life status outside of the game.

Players like Messis, Ronaldos, Mbappes, Neymars are sponsored off the field. This could be in a positive sense as they try to be the face of the game globally and expand it. But its negative aspects should not be ignored.

Euro 2020 has provided a stark reality check for the superstars and paid tribute to good team play. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé and Gareth Bale don’t play for the top four teams in Europe as of now. This time new heroes are emerging. Teams like Denmark and Ukraine are writing new stories at the Euro. These heroes are reminding the world what a good fairy tale sounds like.

THE SUPERSTAR CULTURE

Since the turn of the millennium, the world has changed dramatically. Its effect was also clearly seen in our beautiful game. The game began to go global thanks to stylish television rights, large number of club fans, and interaction between players, clubs and fans like never before. Players who made a breakthrough in that period were the biggest winners of all, as they rose to fame like never before. The Messi-Ronaldo era has taken the game to a whole new level.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the epitome of such changes, as he became a brand revered by millions of fans around the world. After putting on some magical performances on the field, Ronaldo continues to expand his brand. He is an official ambassador for many of the major brands such as Nike, Tag Heuer, Clear Haircare, etc. He also spends a good fortune on charity work and is rightly considered an icon.

Social media has also played an incredible role in this transformation. Ronaldo or the the richest and most followed person in the world on Instagram he always interacts with his fans in the application. A recent incident involving Ronaldo and the cold drink maker Coca-Cola has stunned the world for Euros. Ronaldo has just removed a pair of Coke from the podium and is believed to have hurt the company’s shares in world markets. This is just one small example of how a superstar can have a say in global issues.

THE CEMETERY OF THE STARS

Despite their star power off the pitch, few have stopped influencing their countries to succeed on the pitch only at the Euro. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, tirelessly led Portugal. He went back the years to score a record five goals in the final as he sought to defend his team’s crown at the European Championship. Despite Ronaldo shooting at full throttle, Portugal fell flat in the round of 16. When faced with a quality rival in Belgium, he meekly submitted. They couldn’t play as a team and they paid the price for it.

Mbappé slashed a dejected figure for France (Image credits: Brand)

Kylian Mbappé is a new alpha in the world of football recently. The talent of the French sensation took the world by storm three years ago and has been unstoppable ever since. He guided France to a world cup triumph in 2018 and was expected to return to play a key role in the Eurocup. Interestingly, Mbappé looked faded and was unable to score a single goal in the tournament. It was his missed penalty that sent France crashing in the round of 16. After their defeat, it is rumored that a massive fight broke out between the player’s families regarding the player’s ego.

Other stars like Gareth Bale, Robert Lewandowski, Paul Pogba, Thomas Muller have suffered a similar fate. The Euros were ruthless to the stars and proved once again that the strongest man is the weakest alone.

NEW HEROES ARISE

If we analyze the teams that have reached the semifinals, we find an interesting trend. None of them are champions of the League and the Champions League. Similarly, not many of them have ever been in Ballon d’Or discussions. All sides are made up of straightforward players with enough quality and character to fight for their nation to the end.

Denmark, in particular, has become a crowd favorite at this Euro edition. The Danes have lost their star player Christian Eriksen on the pitch to a medical emergency midway through their opener. The way the Danes acted in the face of adversity won them over, admirers, all over the world. The nation held its breath for Eriksen. When they knew he was okay, they did everything on the field to make him proud.

Players like Mikkel Damsgaard, Joakim Maehle and Kasper Dolberg have impressed everyone with their dedication and performances on the field. Similarly, Ukraine is another side that has shaken the euros. Deprived of any star power, they reached the rooms purely depending on sheer will and determination. The Czech Republic also added their part to fairy tale history by knocking out a strong Dutch team in the round of 16.

When superstars were destined to become the face of the game, these euros have set them back. This tournament has shown that team spirit is where the essence of the game lies. No individual can be above the game on the field and success, if only because of the true players on the team.

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