Battles against the hosts and Italy: Seven Milan players make Euro 2024 knockouts

By Oliver Fisher -

Eight AC Milan players set off for Germany earlier this month for the European Championship, and all but one of them will be present in the knockout stage.

Yesterday saw the final round of group stage games take place and there have already been some amazing stories such as the fact Georgia have made it to the last 16 as have Romania, but now things get serious.

Just four games separate the remaining sides from glory, and the only one out of the eight Milan players that went to Euro 2024 with their respective countries to exit early is Luka Jovic, despite his last-minute equaliser against Slovenia in the second group game.

Below are the Rossoneri representatives that remain in the competition, and fate has not pitted any of them against each other in the various games.

Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud

➤ France vs. Belgium – July 1, 18:00 CEST

France went into the tournaments as favourites for many, and few saw them not winning the group but it was Austria that emerged on top. After beating Austria narrowly in the opener, draws against the Netherlands and Poland condemned Les Bleus to second spot.

They face Romelu Lukaku’s Belgium – another underperforming side so far – in a potentially tricky round of 16 game. Maignan and Theo will almost certainly start, but there are rumours of sparks flying between Olivier Giroud and Didier Deschamps.

Rafael Leao

➤ Portugal vs. Slovenia – July 1, 21:00 CEST

Leao has had a tough start to Euro 2024 with Portugal. Roberto Martinez decided to use him in a front two during their first two group games but he was taken off in each having received yellow cards in both matches for simulation, meaning he missed the final group fixture.

As for the team, they got the job done with wins over Czech Republic and Turkey in the first two group matches, allowing them to rotate against Georgia on Wednesday night which was a game they ended up losing 2-0. It remains to be seen if Leao will get his spot back after serving his ban.

Tijjani Reijnders

➤ Romania vs. Netherlands – July 2, 18:00 CEST

It was not the build-up to the tournament that Ronald Koeman hoped for given he lost both Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners in quick succession due to injury, but there was confidence that Reijnders could step up and he did become the leader of the midfield.

The Dutch had to settle for third in the group after a win against Poland on matchday one was followed by a draw against France (0-0) and defeat against Austria (2-3). However, they could have been handed a more daunting tie than Romania, the surprise winners of Group E.

Noah Okafor

➤ Switzerland vs. Italy – June 29, 18:00 CEST

Okafor has not played a single minute at the tournament so far, remaining an unused substitute in all three group games as Switzerland finished above Hungary and Scotland to qualify in second behind Germany.

After a season with 36 appearances, six goals and three assists, Okafor might have expected to at least get a couple of appearances, yet Murat Yakin chose to aim a dig at the Rossoneri over their use of him (or lack of). However, a game against the country he plays in might just offer hope.

Simon Kjaer

➤ Germany vs. Denmark – June 29, 21:00 CEST

Kjaer is also yet to make an appearance for his country, remaining on the bench for Denmark’s three games. In a game where Jović came off the bench at the start of the second half, the Dane was left smiling as Serbia could not get the goal they needed to force a win.

Serbia and finished bottom of the table (two points) and were consequently eliminated, but in turn it meant that Kjaer’s side got round of 16 place, where they will face the hosts Germany.

Tags AC Milan Mike Maignan Noah Okafor Olivier Giroud Rafael Leao Simon Kjaer Theo Hernandez Tijjani Reijnders

5 Comments

  1. Hopefully they all play great but all of their teams still get knocked out.
    Need them back at Milanello as soon as possible.

  2. “Reijnders stepped up to become the leader in midfield and he did become the leader of the midfield”. There we go again with that tripe. Well the midfield leader got hooked in the 60th minute didn’t he?. So much for for that leadership. Lead them to third place in the group. Nice 👍

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