Dani Olmo stepped up for Spain when it mattered most during the Euros and has now been rewarded for his efforts. - © Dan Mullan
Dani Olmo stepped up for Spain when it mattered most during the Euros and has now been rewarded for his efforts. - © Dan Mullan

Dani Olmo: RB Leipzig star and Spain's maestro at Euro 2024


RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo has had to be patient for his chance to show his mettle on the national stage with Spain. When the opportunity came, Olmo took it with both hands, helping Spain to a well-deserved Euro 2024 triumph, bundesliga.com looks at his importance..

"It was an amazing tournament from everybody, we really deserved this," said an elated yet humble Olmo to reporters shortly after clinching Euro 2024 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

With three goals and two assists, Olmo's outstanding performances guided Spain past some incredibly difficult hurdles to reach the final against England.

His goal contributions have come at the perfect time for him personally as well as La Roja coach Luis de la Fuente, who has been at the helm in a period of transition for the Spanish national team. After winning the Euros with the U19s in 2015 and with the U21s in 2019, De la Fuente now has a Euros title with the senior side.

Having started Spain's first two games on the bench, Olmo came to life in the knockout stages, with match-winning displays against the hosts Germany in the quarters and Didier Deschamps' France in the semi-final. In the final, though he didn't get a goal or assist, it was his block on the goal line in the dying embers of the game that proved to be a huge turning point.

Ultimately sharing the golden boot at Euro 2024 with England and Bayern Munich star Harry Kane, was Olmo his country's most important player? We think so...

Watch: All Olmo goals and assists 2023/24

The former Dinamo Zagreb youth sensation started the 2023/24 season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick at the Allianz Arena in the Supercup.

One of his two goals from open play on the day was one to remember for the rest of his career - showcasing his brilliance between the opposition lines and ability to improvise in the final third. He left Bayern defenders in the dust before nutmegging Sven Ulreich with an outside of the boot finish.

Watch: Olmo's Supercup hat-trick in Munich

A combination of skills that you can only expect someone like Olmo to produce. His upbringing at Barcelona's youth academy, before moving to Zagreb, is there for all to see in his style of play. Combine that with the efficiency he has harnessed with his time thus far at Leipzig, Olmo has become a devastatingly effective player in the final third.

After a rusty start to Euro 2024 off the bench against Croatia, Olmo has gone on to record a goal contribution in each of his last four appearances. 

Against Albania in his first start, he was deployed by De la Fuente in his favoured number 10 area, wasting no time in delivering on the coach's faith - receiving a superb line-breaking pass from Rodri in space, turning and releasing a perfect through-ball into the path of Ferran Torres, who finished with composure.

All that his teammates need to do is give Olmo the ball and he will do the rest to ensure the ball crosses the all-important goal line.

A number of attackers at Leipzig have benefitted from Olmo's genius in the final third - Christopher Nkunku, Dominik Szoboszlai, Timo Werner and most recently Benjamin Šeško and Loïs Openda. Now, it is Spain's attacking fleet that is beginning to see the might of a fit and firing Olmo.

Watch: Xavi, Olmo and Openda - Leipzig artists

One of the things that Olmo does really well is make up for his lack of speed with a sublime speed of thought which makes him the ultimate playmaker. When chance creation flows through the Leipzig man, he thrives and the team is all the better for it.

The Spaniard is versatile and can be fielded in any role in the final third, but even beyond that, what makes Olmo so good is his dual threat as a creator of chances and a taker of them as well. His tally of three so far at the tournament is testament to that.

When the team was failing to find a clinical touch against hosts Germany in the quarter-finals, it was Olmo who flew into space at the edge of the area, taking advantage of a German defence in disarray, to slot past Manuel Neuer expertly. No time to react, perfect weight on the perfect shot.

Perhaps Olmo has mixed feelings over how his opportunity at Euro 2024 has come about. An injury to Spain and Barcelona starlet Pedri, effectively ending his tournament, forced De la Fuente to reconfigure his plans for the side, placing Olmo front and centre of the team's final-third exploits. 

After years of playing alongside creative goalscoring stars at Leipzig, Olmo has been able to transfer that experience into his performances for the national team, where he has found his groove in high-stakes scenarios.

Spain are blessed with a mix of young and experienced attackers, all of whom bring something different to the table. Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams are the new blood exciting fans from the flanks. Álvaro Morata is the captain leading from the front, capable of superb link play because of his willingness to occupy various positions in the final third.

When you have such a variety in the final third, someone like Olmo brings clarity as a reference point, willing to embrace responsibility as one of the senior players, despite his limited appearances. 

Watch: The best of Olmo in 2023/24

Against France, Yamal stunned viewers across the globe with his glorious equaliser from range. That effort was followed up by another piece of individual brilliance from who else but Olmo. Reacting fastest to a clearance from William Saliba, Olmo shifted the ball between his feet and blasted the ball past Mike Maignan via a deflection. The Leipzig man's effort proved to be the decisive as Spain held on for the win.

Now, 12 years after the last generation of Spanish stars did it, Olmo and co. made history of their own in Berlin. Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal took them to the promised land, but there was another moment of drama to come.

For a player who has made it his life's mission to deliver in the big moments, Olmo made sure to leave his mark on the Euro 2024 final, denying Marc Guéhi in spectacular fashion in the dying seconds of the game with a header on the line.

Of course it was Olmo who had the final say for Spain, who else?