Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

Euro 2024, Spain vs France: Players to watch

07 Jul | BY Betway Insider | MIN READ TIME |
Euro 2024, Spain vs France: Players to watch

Spain were among the favourites to secure their fourth Euro title right from the tournament’s outset. They have undoubtedly met those expectations, eliminating a strong Germany side on their way to the semi-finals. As the only team in this stage with a flawless record, they now confront another formidable challenge in the semi-final.

Here’s a closer look at three key players whose performances will be vital if Spain are to overcome France and advance.

Lamine Yamal

One of the reasons Spain have been contenders for Euro 2024 has been their outstanding wingers, Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal. These young sensations have been in tremendous form, especially Yamal, who became the first teenager to provide three assists at a single edition of the Euros. It’s remarkable to think that the Barça prodigy is only 16 years old. Just participating in the Euros at that age is extraordinary, but playing such a pivotal role in a successful team is truly phenomenal.

Although it wasn’t Lamine’s best performance of the tournament against Germany, he still made a crucial contribution. Lamine now leads the Euro 24 assist charts with three, tied with Netherlands’ Xavi Simons.

Yamal is a tricky winger and adept chance creator, having successfully completed 26 dribbles and made 19 key passes. He will be crucial for La Roja as they face France and his team will rely on him to find solutions against a resilient French defence that has conceded just one goal in the tournament.

Fabián Ruiz

Ruiz has been the engine of Spain’s midfield throughout the entire tournament. Many questioned his selection in the first XI, but he has silenced any doubters emphatically. Ruiz was named Player of the Match in Spain’s opening win against Croatia. With two goals and two assists, he has arguably been Spain’s standout player of the tournament.

The 28-year-old has delivered 33 passes into the final third and 16 key passes, proving his worth as a creative force. The PSG midfielder has also recovered 18 balls, forming a solid partnership with Rodri and Pedri. Ruiz has shown a relentless work rate both on and off the ball, cementing his role as a cornerstone of Luis de la Fuente’s squad.

However, Ruiz faces a formidable and adaptable French midfield featuring Aurélien Tchouaméni, N’Golo Kanté, and Adrien Rabiot. His task will be to track France’s runners, particularly Antoine Griezmann and Eduardo Camavinga, known for their late arrivals in the penalty area.

For Spain to advance to the Euro 2024 final, Ruiz must once again rise to the occasion and justify the confidence his coach has placed in him throughout this tournament.

Dani Olmo

Olmo came on early in the quarter-final against Germany, replacing Pedri, and ultimately earned the Player of the Match award, helping Spain secure a dramatic win. The 26-year-old midfielder scored Spain’s opening goal in the 51st minute and provided the decisive assist to Mikel Merino with a deft chipped cross in the 119th minute. Throughout Euro 2024, Olmo has amassed 265 minutes on the pitch, contributing to four goals at an impressive rate of one goal involvement every 66.5 minutes.

With Pedri ruled out for the remainder of the tournament, Olmo is the prime candidate to fill his spot in the starting line-up. Unlike Pedri, known for his ball control, security, and creative flair, Olmo brings dynamism, directness, and versatility. He can operate across the attack, from the wings to the attacking midfield role. Olmo has been effective with 11 passes into the final third and seven passes into the penalty area, highlighting his creative capabilities.

As a pivotal figure for Spain in the upcoming clash against France, Olmo will not only serve as a crucial creative outlet but will also be counted on to contribute goals to bolster Spain’s chances of reaching the final.


France were also among the favourites to win Euro 2024 in the tournament’s early stages, but they have been underwhelming thus far, failing to score any goals from open play and relying on a penalty shoot-out to eliminate Portugal from the tournament.

In the upcoming match against Spain, who have won all their matches so far, these three players from Les Bleus could significantly influence the outcome.

Kylian Mbappé

France’s captain and talisman, Kylian Mbappé, has not quite met the lofty expectations he set for himself in Euro 2024. Despite playing in four matches, the 25-year-old has had to contend with a broken nose sustained in France’s opening game against Austria. Mbappé missed the subsequent match against the Netherlands but returned to score his team’s solitary goal against Poland from a penalty kick.

He has recorded 20 attempts on goal, with only eight on target. However, the Real Madrid forward has showcased his skill by successfully dribbling past opponents 26 times and providing 18 key passes, along with nine passes into the final third, establishing himself as France’s primary attacking threat.

At times, France have adopted a cautious approach despite their wealth of talent under Didier Deschamps, which has invited scrutiny. Consequently, Mbappé has occasionally found it challenging to exert his usual influence on matches. Les Bleus now face a formidable challenge against Spain, a team that has excelled both offensively and defensively.

Nevertheless, there could be opportunities for Mbappé to exploit Spain’s tendency to play with a high defensive line and their aggressive attacking style. His speed and dribbling ability have proven effective in penetrating even the best of defences, which Spain will be wary of.

Aurélien Tchouaméni

Aurélien Tchouaméni has been immense for France this tournament, making a strong impact since returning from injury after missing their opening game against Austria. The defensive midfielder has excelled in protecting France’s defence and minimising goal-scoring opportunities for their opponents. He has provided the right balance to France’s midfield, complementing N’Golo Kanté and Adrien Rabiot.

Tchouaméni boasts a passing accuracy of 94%, and has demonstrated his ball-winning abilities and tenacity in and around the penalty box. The Real Madrid midfielder has a repertoire of passes under his belt, including long diagonal switches, having successfully completed 38 of 43 long balls attempted. He also creates chances, with 65 passes into the attacking third showcasing his playmaking skills. The 24-year-old possesses a powerful right foot, capable of launching long shots with impeccable accuracy. Tchouaméni has also recovered 13 balls and made six out of seven clearances, solidifying his status as a mainstay in Deschamps’ line-up.

Tchouaméni and his teammates will need to be at their best against a balanced and versatile Spanish midfield aiming to establish their authority early in the match. He will be crucial in disrupting their rhythm and cutting off the service to the Spanish forwards. If France are to advance, Tchouaméni must have an outstanding game.

Jules Koundé

Koundé has been nearly flawless for France thus far. The Barcelona defender has shown defensive solidity in all of France’s games, allowing Theo Hernandez to advance from the opposite flank. He has effectively shielded France’s defence from counter-attacks, often positioning himself deep to nullify threats with his impressive speed.

Despite entering the tournament with some doubts about his form, the 25-year-old has redeemed himself with consistent performances. He has not missed a single minute of France’s matches in this competition, highlighting the coach’s immense trust in him. Koundé has recovered 34 balls and completed 16 out of 17 clearances, establishing himself as a defensive cornerstone for Les Bleus. He has also contributed to the attack, making 24 passes into the final third and 11 passes into the penalty area.

Koundé will play a pivotal role for France against Spain and will face a formidable opponent in Nico Williams, who has been in superb form. Koundé must focus on containing Williams and avoiding unnecessary challenges, given Williams’ pace and technical ability.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.