Euro 2012: the £457m ultimate player

The BBC's Colin Murray dissects the stars on show at Euro 2012 to build Radio Times's Frankenstein footballer from their best bits


THE HAIR – Wayne Rooney. Transfer value: £60m*


No one footballer has coveted hair as much as this scouse superstar. Yes, some may perm and, yes, others may ponytail, but only the chosen few show the commitment to have the back of their head grafted onto the top. He won’t be using any part of his body during England’s first two group games, due to his lack of brain usage, but at least he’ll be sitting in the stands, safe in the knowledge that he can run his hands, once more, through his returning hair.

THE BRAIN – Christian Eriksen. Transfer value: £20m

Just turned 20 years old, yet this Danish midfielder has grey matter akin to that of a certain Andrés Iniesta. England fans who saw him play at Wembley in a friendly last year will know all about him, although his rise might be stilted somewhat by being the best thing in the least fancied team in the group of death. Still, his ability to pick a pass could result in the Ajax board receiving many amorous advances from top Premier League clubs come July.

THE EYES – Xavi Hernandez. Transfer value: £67m

Spain’s rock, and the player of the tournament four years ago at Euro 2008. On an average day, 90 per cent of his passes will find a team-mate. Nothing much can be added about Xavi that hasn’t already been said, but it’s worth noting that, at the age of 32, his sixth major international tournament this summer could be his last, so our eyes should be glued to his every move.

THE HEAD – Fernando Llorente. Transfer value: £28m

With David Villa injured, and Fernando Torres still looking for a time machine to help him rediscover his best form, Fernando Llorente needs to fill the onion bag for the defending world and European champions, and he’s likely to do that via his noggin. He managed three goals in qualifying, and two of them came off his quite beautiful forehead.

THE SHOULDERS – Steven Gerrard. Transfer value: £20m

The captain’s armband has been handed to Stevie G, which itself brings a special responsibility. And now injuries to Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry have left the Liverpool captain as the midfield linchpin, both in terms of ability and international experience – so a lot rests on his form at the Euros. Top all this off with Wayne Rooney’s absence early doors, and the weight on Gerrard’s shoulders must be crippling.

THE HEART – Richard Dunne. Transfer value: £5m

The Villa man has the beating heart of a lion, exemplified perfectly during his country’s 0-0 draw away to Russia in qualification. This game is remembered for the Irish bench frantically scrawling a number 5 in marker pen onto a jersey, but that shirt belonged to Dunne. Head cut open, bloodied and stitched up, he continued to launch himself in front of everything the Russians could throw at his beloved country, clearing off the line, making last ditch tackles, and stopping only to be graffitied by his coaches.

THE SKIN (THICK) – John Terry. Transfer value: £21m

A player who matches Richard Dunne when it comes to throwing his head in front of any speeding boot for the good of his country, but he heads to Euro 2012 with a court case waiting for him on his return, relating to alleged racist comments made on the field of play. The average rival fan’s ability to home in on a player’s troubles will no doubt mean JT needs thick skin and the ability to close his ears to the opposition fans.

THE CHEST – Robert Lewandowski. Transfer value: £50m

Poland’s squad would no doubt be on their holidays right now if it wasn’t for host privileges, but their one shining light is Robert Lewandowski, who finished top scorer this season for German champions Borrussia Dortmund. However, it’s his ability to hold the ball up that the Polish might need most to relieve the pressure, and that’s why this man’s beautifully cushioned chest is a must-have on our footballing Frankenstein.

THE ARMS – Philipp Lahm. Transfer value: £24.5m

A strange limb, that serves only a subsidiary purpose in football, apart from in one department, and that’s the strapping on of the captain’s armband. Lahm could very well be raising his arms in the air, with trophy, come the final whistle of Euro 2012. Regardless, he was the youngest-ever German to captain his side at a World Cup, aged 22 in 2006, and was ever-present throughout the recent Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, leading his side to a perfect ten wins out of ten. Aside from that, he is one of the best full-backs on the planet.

THE TORSO – Adil Rami. Transfer value: £20m

Ladies, and some men, watching Euro 2012 will find the action more enjoyable if this Frenchman swaps shirts at the final whistle of his games. At Lille, he was nicknamed Shrek by his team-mates, as his almost perfect body brings with it a head-spinning balance of brawn and beauty. And they aren’t my words, they are the words of… oh, hold on, they are mine. Put it this way, he’s a man who, if I played five-a-side football with him, I would wait until I got home before I showered, just in case anybody tried to compare and contrast.

THE HANDS – Gianluigi Buffon. Transfer value: £30m

Now 34, but probably the best goalkeeper of the 21st century, and while Joe Hart’s hands may be young and wrinkle-free, the “Old Man” from the “Old Lady” is still world-class and then some. He has the highest percentage of saves of any goalkeeper in qualifying, is a current Serie A champion, and has a point to prove to the world after lasting just 45 minutes of Italy’s World Cup 2010 campaign.

THE HIPS – Hatem Ben Arfa. Transfer value: £5m

When it comes to dribbling a football, hips don’t lie, and while Cristiano Ronaldo is the best dribbler at the Euros, we’re having his foot, so Newcastle’s cult hero gets the call-up. Despite more successful runs per game than Bale, Modric or Nani during the past Premier League season, France coach Laurent Blanc has not played him once in qualification for this summer’s tournament. That might be because he has the tendency to stop tracking back, but when it comes to speed and dribbling, stats don’t lie either.

THE LEGS – Dirk Kuyt. Transfer value: £1m

While he’s getting on a bit, the Dutchman could probably run from Liverpool to Fenerbahce in 90 minutes, following his recent transfer. Always adored by club and country for his ability to never stop chasing the football, he probably covers more grass in the pre-match warm-up than many do in the actual game itself. He may not have the touch or grace to match many of the Premier League stars heading to Poland and Ukraine but believe me, if Mario Balotelli ran half as hard as Kuyt, he’d be twice the player.

THE RIGHT FOOT – Cristiano Ronaldo. Transfer value: £80m


His left foot could launch a joint legal case with Robin van Persie’s right, but the Portuguese poser has just about everything, and could probably still do it all if we chopped off his left leg. While he misses the genuine love garnered by Lionel Messi, his more than a goal a game ratio this season for Real Madrid puts him in the form of his life. The other part of his body Radio Times wouldn’t mind is his bottom, which is where you’ll find his back pocket and, hopefully, his wallet.

THE LEFT FOOT – Robin van Persie. Transfer value: £25m

His right foot could take Radio Times to court for defamation of character, but the majority of his 30 Premier League goals came from his beautifully crafted left peg. Free from injury and heading to Euro 2012, it’s hard to put a price on this one part of RvP’s body, but that’s more a matter for Arsenal to sort out. And fast.

*figures are based on recent transfer value or current worth