Euro 2024, Copa América Stock Watch: Which players starred?

Euro 2024 and the Copa América are down to two teams each, but which players have impressed and which have struggled during both tournaments?

We asked the writers who have been covering the action to pick a player whose stock has risen over the past month, and one whose stock has fallen.


Lamine Yamal, Spain. Yes, his stock was already rising before Euro 2024, but no one’s reputation has received a bigger boost this summer than the 16-year-old winger. His brilliant semifinal goal against France feels like it could be a before-and-after moment in his young career. He has scored similar goals before (against France in the U17 Euros last summer and for Barcelona against Mallorca), but never has he lit up one of the biggest stages in the game quite like that. “The product of a genius,” was coach Luis de la Fuente’s take. — Sam Marsden

Cody Gakpo, Netherlands. The Liverpool forward almost single-handedly carried Netherlands to the semifinals with three goals, but his overall performances have been more important than his goal scoring. Gakpo has been hot and cold since joining Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven for €40 million in January 2023, but the 25-year-old stepped up a level in Germany and has shown he can become a key player at Anfield under new manager Arne Slot. — Mark Ogden

Dani Olmo, Spain. We already knew what that the rest of the Spain team was all about, and they have been great, but Olmo has been the decisive factor when his country needed it the most. Against Germany and France, he was outstanding and has three goals and two assists now in this tournament. He changed the Germany game after coming on as an early substitute for Pedri and then humiliated France midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni for his goal in the semifinal. Marc Cucurella and Fabián Ruiz deserve a mention because their level has been great, but my vote goes to Olmo, who somehow is still at RB Leipzig if you were wondering. What a talent. — Julien Laurens

Marc Guéhi, England. He might not have played a minute at Euro 2024 had Harry Maguire been fit, but Guéhi was one of England’s best players before missing the Switzerland game because of suspension. Still only 23, there will be a lot of suitors for the Crystal Palace centre-back during the summer transfer window after his performances in Germany. — Rob Dawson

Ferdi Kadioğlu, Turkey. Guéhi deserves recognition, but for the sake of variety, I’ll go with the Turkey left-back. He obviously won’t get the same attention as young midfielder Arda Güler, but the Fenerbahçe defender has been a real attacking threat from full-back while also resilient without the ball. Scouts have been lining up to look at him throughout the tournament, and a summer move to a bigger European club would be no surprise. — James Olley.

Diogo Costa, Portugal. He has proved — once more — that he is one of the better goalkeepers in the tournament (and, no, you don’t judge that by penalty saves). I could have gone with a number of the players my colleagues mentioned, but keepers don’t always get the love they deserve and it’s worth reminding ourselves what a big role he had in Portugal’s run to the quarterfinals. — Gab Marcotti




Moreno: Messi looked healthier in Argentina’s win vs. Canada

Alejandro Moreno breaks down what he liked from Lionel Messi in Argentina’s win over Canada.

Emiliano Martínez, Argentina. Argentina’s star-studded roster tends to mute defensive players, as Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María and Julián Álvarez run the show. But against Ecuador, goalkeeper “Dibu” showed why even the reigning champions need to boast a strong figure between the posts. When the team’s offensive power is lacking, Martínez contributes from the back, and his presence has been key in allowing Argentina’s players to regain control of games. His confidence and aggressive mindset during penalty shootouts is also incredible. — Lizzy Becherano

James Rodríguez, Colombia. The “Benjamin Button” of fútbol, the 32-year-old midfielder has arguably been the tournament’s MVP, with one goal and six assists in taking Colombia to the final. Thanks to coach Nestor Lorenzo, his new position allows him to sit deeper and become more of an architect for the team’s attacking moves, which has suited them to perfection. Yes, injuries and inconsistency have haunted him in the past, but with reports of him wanting out of São Paulo, I think there is a chance for James to have un último baile (one last dance) in Europe. This is his renaissance, and let’s hope it’s the beginning of something magical. — Luis Miguel Echegaray

Salomón Rondón, Venezuela. Not a bad summer for the 34-year-old, who was recently voted the best striker in Liga MX. With some momentum thanks to his club form, the veteran stepped up with three goals and an assist for Venezuela. Rondón’s equaliser vs. Canada in the quarterfinals, which helped keep his side alive before an eventual narrow loss in a penalty shootout, should easily be in the running for top goal of the tournament. — Cesar Hernandez

Lisandro Martínez, Argentina. This has been a big tournament for the Manchester United defender. The change from the 2022 World Cup-winning side has been his inclusion at the expense of Nicolás Otamendi, and Martínez has stepped in seamlessly, winning his duels, setting moves in motion and showing the type of on-field leadership that was badly missed last season at Old Trafford during his long injury absence. — Tim Vickery

Jacob Shaffelburg, Canada. On a team in which the likes of Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David get most of the headlines, Shaffelburg has provided a valuable, extra attacking option down the left wing. His ability to score a goal in true fox-in-the-box fashion was evident in the quarterfinal win over Venezuela, and MLS club Nashville SC will surely see some interest in his services this summer. — Jeff Carlisle.




Leboeuf: Mbappe can expect big criticism for Euro 2024 performance

Frank Leboeuf analyses France’s semifinal exit at Euro 2024 after their 2-1 loss to Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal. Sorry, this feels like kicking a guy when he’s down, but Ronaldo should have been no more than an impact substitute for Portugal, yet coach Roberto Martinez allowed the 39-year-old to damage his legacy, and the team’s chances, by failing to have the tough conversation about taking him out of the team. Ronaldo looked like a player who is winding his career down in Saudi Arabia rather than the superstar he has been for the majority of his career. — Ogden

Kylian Mbappé, France. It pains me to say it (and I could easily have chosen Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku or Ronaldo) but this was supposed to be Mbappé’s tournament. As the best player in the world going into it, he should have done so much better. Just one goal (a penalty), one assist and so much drama (his nose, his mask, his back, some of his comments on his teammates) … it has just not been good enough. Mbappé admitted as much himself after the loss to Spain. It is now two European Championship tournaments in a row where he has flopped, and that has to be a worry. — Laurens

Antoine Griezmann, France. The majority of the big names have failed to deliver at this tournament, so it’s hard to pick just one. Despite reaching the semifinal, France’s attack never clicked — and that was not just down to Mbappé. Griezmann also failed to deliver. The Atlético Madrid forward has often starred for his country and was brilliant at the last World Cup, but his performances led to him being dropped for the semifinal against Spain. It didn’t help that he was asked to play many different roles by coach Didier Deschamps, but he also must take some responsibility. — Marsden

Florian Wirtz, Germany. He’s still a phenomenal talent, we’ll see plenty more of him no doubt and, of course, he scored the goal that sent the Spain game into extra time before Germany lost to a late strike. But this was a tournament on home soil with a front-foot side and the chance for Wirtz to make the team his own. It didn’t happen, as coach Julian Nagelsmann felt he had to pick between him and Jamal Musiala and opted for the latter. Wirtz will be back, but this tournament is one opportunity missed. — Marcotti

Phil Foden, England. The new song for this tournament — “Phil Foden’s on fire” to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In the Dark” — has been the Manchester City forward’s best contribution to the tournament so far. Fans have sung it in spite of — not because of — his performances. Foden has gone from being the player many want Gareth Southgate to build his team around to the one most would sacrifice to make changes to the XI. He did better in the semifinal win, however, and there’s still time for him to spark in the final. — Olley

Benjamin Šeško, Slovenia. The 21-year-old is one of the best young strikers in Europe and scored 14 goals in 31 Bundesliga games last season, but he struggled in a Slovenia team that didn’t create very much. Linked with a transfer to Arsenal and Manchester United before signing a new contract at RB Leipzig, he looks to still have work to do before he’s ready for the highest level. — Dawson




Should Neymar be part of Brazil’s future?

Herculez Gomez, Kasey Keller and Gustavo Hofman break down if Neymar can help improve this current Brazil squad.

Endrick, Brazil. Yes, I’m aware that it’s harsh to place this much criticism on a 17-year-old who still has a massive future ahead of him, but at the same time I also believe it’s important to highlight his poor performances — especially against Uruguay (zero chances, just 23 touches in the entire game) — because then we can see how much more he has to do to be a world star. Brazil coach Dorival Júnior made a mistake to start him against a very physical, relentless Uruguay in an ugly game that lacked rhythm. It was too much pressure on both him and a Brazilian side that is clearly in need of change. Endrick will shine again, but in terms of his current stock this tournament did him no favors. — LME

Santiago Giménez, Mexico. The expectations were high for Giménez after he scored 26 goals in 41 games for Feyenoord and lifted the Eredivisie title last season. Mexico boss Jaime Lozano handed him the No. 9 role, but he squandered the opportunity with zero goals in all three group-stage matches. Defender Gerardo Arteaga scored the only goal for Mexico at the Copa, showing how the forward line disappointed. Gimenez’s inability to translate his club success to international football continues to be cause for concern. — Becherano

Tim Weah, United States. There is plenty of blame to go around for the USMNT’s Copa América flameout, but Weah bears more responsibility than most. His silly red card against Panama turned the tide of the Americans’ campaign, and the team never really recovered. Weah is also one of the U.S. players who hasn’t progressed at all since the 2022 World Cup. He needs to find a better club situation than the one he currently finds himself in at Juventus, where he’s more of a bench option than a consistent starter. — Carlisle

Miguel Almirón, Paraguay. Paraguay, and their biggest star, had a Copa to forget. Almirón has now yet to score for his national team in an official competition since March 2022 and was taken off before the hour mark in two group-stage matches. According to TruMedia/Stats Perform, the No. 10 created a total of zero big chances at the tournament. — Hernandez

Alexis Sánchez, Chile. This was a melancholic return to the scene of Chile’s greatest triumph. Eight years on from their 2016 win, Sánchez was unable to reproduce his old magic. While the 35-year-old tried hard in a No. 10 position behind the main striker, he wasted an early chance in the opening game against Peru and things went downhill from there as Chile whimpered out without scoring a single goal. — Vickery

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