#Euro2016: Team of the tournament

Portugal were outstanding for the most part as well as the Germans and a few tournament minnows.

FILE: Portugal players with their Euro 2016 Cup after beating France on Saturday. Picture: @UEFAEURO.

CAPE TOWN - Euro 2016 has come to an end with the unlikely victors, Portugal, walking away with the title. The tournament received a mixed reception after it expanded the format from 16 to 24 teams.

France may have heartbreakingly lost the final in their backyard, but a consolation for them is that Antoine Griezmann won the Golden Boot with his six goals.

Defence was a big part of this year's competition and winners Portugal were outstanding for the most part, as well as the Germans and a few tournament minnows.

There were also a number of feel-good stories, none more so than Iceland - the nation with a population of just 330,000 people - which punched above its weight to reach the quarterfinals. Wales also gets an honourable mention having made the semifinals after lengthy absences from a major tournament.

Another theme was the popular and successful implementation of the '3-5-2' system used by Wales, Germany and Italy.

In that vein, the Euro 2016 team of the tournament is selected using that system.

Goalkeeper - Rui Patricio (Portugal)

The 28-year-old goalkeeper is not a member of the elite goalkeeping club. However, in a tournament where Portugal's tactics were based on a rock-solid defence, he duly played his part. Besides the three goals he conceded against Hungary in the group stages, he rarely put a foot wrong and conceded only one goal (against Poland) since the clash against Hungary.

Centre-back - Pepe (Portugal)

Pepe is a bit of an enigma; he can mix it up when the going gets tough, while also showing off the balance of a toddler when tackled. However, in this tournament we saw the best of Pepe. Portugal were a tough nut to crack defensively and the 33-year-old was the leading light in this regard and displayed all his leadership qualities as well as his defensive abilities, which have made him the first-choice centre back at Real Madrid for so many years.

Centre-back - Jerome Boateng (Germany)

The Bayern Munich centre-back reaffirmed why he is such a key figure for both club and country. The former Manchester City defender was a key component of the tournament's best defence. While his ability defensively was on display, his ability to spray long-range passes with either foot is a rare quality for most centre-backs.

Centre-back - Leonardo Bonnuci (Italy)

Bonnuci forms part of Italy's and Juventus's famous 'BBC' defensive line alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli. Bonnuci sits in the middle of the trio because of his ability to read the game as well as his aptitude when it comes to passing. He is a serial winner with his club and although Italy were knocked out prematurely, his performances at the tournament have helped established apparent interest from the big-spending Premier League clubs in Manchester.

Left wing-back - Raphael Guerrero (Portugal)

The majority of focus from a Portuguese perspective is on established stars such Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. Although Guerrero's star was on the rise before the tournament, his reputation as a quality left-back has grown exponentially after a fine tournament. Borussia Dortmund must be even more pleased with their signing in June after his displays in the tournament. Excellent on defence, he also provided great width for his team with his overlapping runs into opponent's territory. The 22-year-old has a bright future ahead of him.

Right wing-back - Dmitri Payet (France)

Payet was the catalyst for the host nation's run into the final. It seemed as if their opening match against Romania was heading for a draw before the West Ham midfielder unleashed an unstoppable left-foot winner to hand the hosts the perfect start to the tournament. In the end, the man from the Reunion Islands' contribution was three goals and two assists, a more than respectable return for someone who was not in the international picture at the start of the season.

Central midfield - Toni Kroos (Germany)

The metronomic German midfielder is a player any team could do with. Besides his impressive and diverse range of passing, the Real Madrid man rarely gets dispossessed in the centre of the park and kept the German side ticking in the heart of midfield. Germany averaged more time on the ball than any other team and Kroos was key to this, with his passing accuracy well above 90% in the tournament.

Central midfield - Aaron Ramsey (Wales)

Ramsey was Wales's most influential player in the tournament. The team broke mental barriers for the small footballing nation and his four assists and one goal were crucial in driving them into the semifinal. Wales fell short against Portugal in that semifinal, as Ramsey was suspended for the match. His cutting edge in attack and selfless defensive contributions were missed but his status grew as the tournament progressed. He will now hope to kick on and replicate his form for Arsenal in the upcoming Premier League season.

Attacking central midfield - Gareth Bale (Wales)

Fans got to see a different side to Bale from the one that plays second fiddle to Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Bale displayed his leadership side when conducting his press conferences and exuded the confidence of a man that is relishing the responsibility of being his team's main man. He delivered on the pitch as well, scoring three goals in the tournament, including a superbly taken free kick against England.

Forward - Antoine Griezmann (France)

The nimble striker ended the competition as the top scorer, walking away with the Golden Boot after scoring six goals in the tournament. The Frenchman has seen his reputation grow after a couple of seasons under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. The Euros confirmed that he is one of the best strikers in European football at the moment.

Forward - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

It was by no means his best tournament as the superstar blew hot and cold and at times epitomised Portugal's lack of cutting edge. The mark of a great player is delivering when it matters and that is what Ronaldo did. Against Hungary he grabbed a brace in the group stages to secure qualification into the next round by the skin of their teeth. Against Wales, the only match which Portugal manged to win within 90 minutes, he scored and then assisted teammate Nani to lead his nation into the final. Although he did not complete the final, his teammates explained his valuable role as a leader within the dressing room, which helped them over the line.

Manager - Lars Lagerback & Heimir Hallgrimsson (Iceland)