Euro 2020 Player of Matchday 1: Patrik Schick

Schick was the Czech Republic's match winner against Scotland
Schick was the Czech Republic's match winner against Scotland / Stu Forster/Getty Images
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With the first round of matches at Euro 2020 completed, Stats Perform has identified the best player of the opening matchday.

There were plenty of strong performances: Romelu Lukaku toyed with Russia, Cristiano Ronaldo broke yet more records, and Kalvin Phillips passed Croatia off the Wembley pitch.

Only one man achieved a score of 91.1 on Opta's player index, however – all while making a meme out of David Marshall.

Patrik Schick's display secured a 2-0 win for the Czech Republic over Scotland and his place in the annals of European Championship history, with a goal the likes of which this tournament has rarely seen before.

The forward's impudent, implausible shot from just beyond the halfway line, that soared and curled its way out of Marshall's reach and into the net, was a piece of spellbinding brilliance to cap a fine performance.

It was the furthest distance from which a goal has been scored in the history of the tournament; 49.7 yards (or 45.5 metres) from the Scotland goal, it was over 10 yards further out than the previous such record goal, one scored by Thorsen Frings for Germany against the Netherlands at Euro 2004.

Stats Perform

The finish was made more amazing by the fact it seemed so out of character; Schick scored 13 goals in 36 games for Bayer Leverkusen in 2020-21, and four in six for the Czech Republic in Euro 2020 qualifying, and not one of them was from outside the opposition penalty area.

There was much to admire about Schick's first goal, too, a towering header from Vladimir Coufal's cross from the right that left Marshall with no chance. His brace took him to 10 direct goal involvements (eight scored, two assisted) in his past nine international starts in all competitions, and it made him the first Czech Republic player to score twice in a game at a major tournament since Tomas Rosicky at the 2006 World Cup.

It was a clinical display from the number 10, one that defied the goalscoring odds on the day; the Czech Republic had 1.09 expected goals based on their chances created, while Scotland had 1.95. Schick hit the target with five of his six shots throughout, the highest number of any player on matchday one, averaging over an attempt at goal for every eight touches of the ball. All told, he earned a rating of 96.18 in the Opta index for his attacking play.

He also scored 61.97 defensively, and with good reason: he made five recoveries and three tackles, the highest number of any player in the game, as he pressed effectively against the Scotland defence.

Jaroslav Silhavy's side have put themselves in a decent position to secure passage out of Group D, even with games against Croatia and England still to come. They will certainly hope Schick's outstanding form continues, even if he might struggle to surpass that goal any time soon.

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