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Euro 2016 was a platform for unfamiliar names to showcase their talents to the rest of the footballing world.

And many have made themselves known following their exploits in France.

Five relative unknowns who put themselves on the map in Euro 2016International tournaments always spit out new and unlikely heroes who, on the world stage, perform out of their skin and court interest from elite sides across Europe for their signature.

Euro 2016, in its expanded 24-team format, provided plenty of examples of this. The likes of Iceland and Hungary surprised, while unheard names from European powerhouses forced their way into their respective teams with commanding performances.

With the tournament now over, and the summer transfer window about to get into full swing, expect some of these names to be snapped up by clubs all across the continent.

Marko Pjaca (Croatia)

The 21-year-old made his Euro 2016 bow against previous reigning champions Spain, and put in what was arguably a man-of-the-match performance during his time on the pitch.

Despite that being his only start of the tournament, as Croatia were knocked out by eventual winners Portugal in the next round, Pjaca made such a positive impression for Ante Cacic’s side that he earned widespread acclaim and was deemed unfortunate to not start the following match.

The Dinamo Zagreb man completed 10 of his 12 dribble attempts throughout the tournament, and will now undoubtedly see himself coveted throughout the summer, with clubs such as Juventus and AC Milan reportedly circling.

Adam Nagy (Hungary)

Nagy was one of the unsung heroes in a Hungarian side that defied all odds and finished top of Group F to make it into the Round of 16, where they were eventually overwhelmed by Belgium.

The 21-year-old started three of his nation’s four fixtures in France, sitting as a deep-lying-midfielder alongside former West Brom man Zoltán Gera, and impressing greatly with his excellent work rate, astute reading of the game and stamina, completing 90 minutes in each of those starts.

A key cog in Bernd Storck’s midfield during the tournament, Nagy has been heralded as Hungarian football’s new hope. It is highly likely he will leave National Championship giants Ferencváros in the coming transfer window.

Bartosz Kapustka (Poland)

The 19-year-old lit up Poland’s start to Euro 2016 with a dazzling display on the wing against Northern Ireland, as his nation emerged 1-0 victors. Kapustka’s performance during the course of that match won him many admirers and widespread praise, with club manager Jacek Zielinski saying the youngster is capable of following in compatriot Robert Lewandowski’s footsteps.

Although he went on to make just one more start following Poland’s opening game, his impact in that match was such that he is now a known entity. “A new star is born” was the caption on goal.com following that 90 minutes, as he weaved, sped and tricked his way past opponents, while almost nearly getting on the score-sheet as well.

Currently plying his trade for Polish top flight side KS Cracovia, it is only a matter of time before the youngster makes the step up to a bigger and more prominent league.

Emre Mor (Turkey)

Little was known, and very few actually knew, about Emre Mor prior to his move to Borussia Dortmund just days before Turkey’s opening match in Euro 2016 against Croatia. It turned out to be an exceptionally intelligent and timely signing by Thomas Tuchel’s side, as the 18-year-old came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of that match and impressed greatly.

The man known as the ‘Turkish Messi’ did not feature in his nation’s 3-0 humbling to Spain, however, was instrumental in their 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the next fixture, creating the assist for Burak Yilmaz to open Turkey’s account for the tournament.

Having just moved to Dortmund from Danish outfit Nordsjælland, it is not expected Mor will be moving on anytime soon, yet he has done a great deal to increase his chances of first team football with his exploits in France.

Ragnar Sigurdsson (Iceland)

The lesser known Sigurdsson was just as more at the heart of the minnows’ success in Euro 2016 than that of his namesake, Gylfi. The FC Krasnodar man, who, prior to the tournament, would have only be familiar to those following Russian football, was a domineering presence at the heart of an Icelandic back-four that was exceptional all throughout, barring its showing against France in the 5-2 quarter-final loss.

Not only a commanding presence in defence, Sigurdsson also created havoc in opposition penalty areas, scoring the equalising goal in England’s infamous 2-1 defeat to the Nordic nation in the Round of 16.

At 30 years of age, the centre-back may not be coveted as intensely as his younger counterparts, however has certainly put himself on the footballing map with his heroics at Euro 2016.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Frank Garrasi for Outside 90
Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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