5 Standout Performers In EURO 2024 Quarter-Finals

European Championship Trophy
European Championship Trophy

Over Friday and Saturday (July 5-6), we were treated to four extraordinary quarter-final matches in the 2024 European Championship (EURO 2024). Spain and Germany kicked off the round on Friday, trading blows over 120 minutes before La Roja clinched the victory. Spain’s Mikel Merino scored in extra time to seal a 2-1 victory for Luis de la Fuente’s side. Later that night, France and Portugal played out a goalless draw in 120 minutes, surrendering their fate to penalties. Les Bleus came out on top in the shootout, sealing a 5-3 win.

Saturday began with England’s bout with Switzerland. The Three Lions and the Swiss were level on 1-1 in 120 minutes, pushing the match to penalties. Gareth Southgate’s side held their nerve better and bagged a 5-3 victory. In the final quarter-final clash, the Netherlands beat Turkiye 2-1, becoming the only team of the round to claim the win in 90 minutes.

Before we focus on semi-final clashes between Spain and France, and between England and the Netherlands, let’s check out the five players who impressed in the quarter-finals. Let’s begin!

#5 Joshua Kimmich – Germany

Joshua Kimmich Is One Of The Leading Chance Creators In EURO 2024
Joshua Kimmich Provided An Assist Against Spain

Germany right-back Joshua Kimmich had a difficult job in the quarter-final clash against Spain. He had to neutralize the in-form Spanish left-winger Nico Williams. Kimmich took the tough task in his stride and delivered a masterclass down the right flank, not only keeping Williams quiet but also playing an integral part in the home team’s equalizer in the 89th minute. The Bayern Munich man did ever so well to meet Maximilian Mittelstaedt’s delivery from the left and lay it onto Wirtz’s path, allowing him to apply a straightforward finish.

Kimmich created five chances against Spain, completed 57 passes with 92% accuracy, delivered three accurate crosses, won two tackles, and registered seven recoveries. Had the rest of the Germans followed his example, they could have been playing in the semi-finals instead of Spain.

#4 Stefan de Vrij – Netherlands

Stefan de Vrij Was One Of The Best Players In EURO 2024 QF
Stefan de Vrij Scored The Winner Against Turkiye

The Netherlands and Turkiye played out a European Championship classic in the quarter-finals. They traded blows from start to finish, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

The game could have gone either way, but Stefan de Vrij ensured Holland were the ones taking victory laps at the end of the 90 minutes. In the 70th minute — 35 minutes after Turkiye drew first blood — Memphis Depay swung in a cross into the Turkish box. De Vrij attacked it with aplomb, sending his thumping header at the back of the Turkish net. Six minutes later, Mert Muldur bundled the ball into his own net, sealing a 2-1 victory for Ronaldo Koeman’s side.

De Vrij not only scored a blinder of a header, but he was also near-spotless at the back. He completed 76 passes with 92% accuracy, won the only tackle he attempted, cleared the ball thrice, and won four of six duels.

#3 Ousmane Dembele – France

Ousmane Dembele Was One Of The Best Players In EURO 2024 QFs
Ousmane Dembele Was Sensational Against Portugal

France needed penalties to beat Portugal in the EURO 2024 quarter-finals, with neither team managing to score in 120 minutes. It was a particularly poor display from Les Bleus, as they failed to make of the chances they created, especially in the second half.

Having started the game on the bench, Ousmane Dembele came into action in the 67th minute. He was a livewire for the following 53 minutes, creating one goalscoring opportunity after another. In the EURO 2024 quarter-final clash with Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal, Dembele created six chances and had three shots. The PSG winger also attempted eight dribbles, completing six of them.

Dembele was France’s first penalty-kick taker in the shootout. The 27-year-old shouldered the responsibility without hesitation, sending in-form Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa the wrong way and rolling the ball into the bottom-right corner.

#2 Bukayo Saka – England

Bukayo Saka Is One Of The Most Valuable Players In EURO 2024
Bukayo Saka Scored His First EURO 2024 Goal Against Switzerland

England had to rely on penalties to move past Switzerland in the EURO 2024 quarter-finals. Their overall performance left a lot to be desired, but there was one piece of good news for Gareth Southgate — one of his key men, Bukayo Saka, was back to his mesmeric best.

Saka linked up superbly with teammates, tracked back, looked for openings, and scored a superb goal to equalize for the Three Lions. In the 80th minute, the winger cut in sharply from the right flank, passing Michel Aebischer and Steven Zuber, before letting fly from outside the box. The ball clattered against the inside of the left-hand post before nestling into the back of the net. The stunner aside, Saka created two chances, completed four dribbles, delivered three accurate crosses, and won 10 duels.

#1 Dani Olmo – Spain

Dani Olmo Was One Of The Heroes Of EURO 2024 Quarter-Finals
Dani Olmo Fired Spain Through To The Semi-Finals

Dani Olmo was undoubtedly the best player in the EURO 2024 quarter-finals. After coming on for an injured Pedri in the eighth minute, Spain midfielder Olmo slowly and steadily set up camp in Germany’s final third. It was not long before he took control of the middle, with every encouraging bit of play flowing through him.

After creating a couple of decent goalscoring opportunities for his teammates in the first half, Olmo scored the opening goal for Spain early in the second 45. He made a superb run from the middle before applying a sublime first-touch finish to send Lamine Yamal’s low cross into the bottom-left corner of Germany’s goal. Germany equalized through Florian Wirtz in the 89th minute to send the game into extra time. Once again, it was Olmo who popped up with a moment of inspiration to send Spain through to the semi-finals.

In the 119th minute, Olmo swung a delectable cross into the box from the left flank, which Mikel Merino emphatically sent into the back of the net. Spain held on firm for the last few minutes to secure a 2-1 victory against Die Mannschaft.

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