Portugal were surprise winners in a different if underwhelming tournament.

Portugal lifted their first major trophy thanks to Eder’s goal against France in extra-time in a tournament that saw them win just one game within 90 minutes and it has been something of a strange tournament overall.

Wales reaching the semi-finals and Iceland reaching the last eight, while events off the field at the beginning of the tournament overshadowed things somewhat. 

It was the first time we saw 24 teams at the European Championship and it will be interesting to see how it works with with pan-European concept in four years’ time.

So what was there to learn from Euro 2016? Here are five things:

24-team format needs work

Some may hail the new format as a success because Portugal finished third in their group and yet ended up crowned as European Champions, but the format does need some work.

The group stages set the tone for the tournament in that they were tight and low on goals, although there was something riding on nearly all the final group games. 

Portugal ultimately played the format well

Barring that madness in their third group game of the tournament, Portugal knew that being solid and ensuring they could avoid defeat could get them a long way.

They may have won just one game in 90 minutes, but they did not lose a single game. They knew they had the goal-scoring threat and the cool heads in the pressure moments when called upon.

England need their own plan as there is no one left to copy

Ah another tournament, another England failure, and it is still amazing that the manager that led them to their worst performance at a major tournament was allowed to preside over this one. 

But England need to just be England and not try to be another nation; there seems to be an obsession with copying victorious nations and one doubts that copying Portugal will be at all popular. 

Roy Hodgson favoured certain names but never really knew how to get the best out of them. There were changes that never seemed to work while some turgid football that illustrated his reign remained.

A strong manager that can make the odd unpopular selection but allows the team to function well is what is needed now.

Club form does not always translate to international level and vice-versa

Some will be shocked that the man who scored the winning goal (Eder) for Portugal in the final could not get ahead of Bafetimbi Gomis in the Swansea City side. It is an example that playing for different teams gets different results from individuals; some are better for their club, others better at international level.

Paul Pogba was talked about as a potential star of the tournament but his impact was minimal. The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale made their mark, granted, but no one was really blown away by their efforts. Which leads nicely into the next point: 

Teams shine, not individuals

Look at Wales, look at Iceland and look at Portugal. Two of the three sides there have a big name in their side, but especially in the case of Wales, the focus is on the team.

Gareth Bale may have been their top scorer, yet some have questioned whether he has had a great tournament, but have been full of praise for their best performance at a major tournament.

Iceland have a few unknowns in their side and not one country would have feared them just by looking at the team sheet, but we all know what happened next, while even without Ronaldo on the field after his early withdrawal, Portgual got the job done in the final. 

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