Drawing ever closer to its conclusion, Euro 2012 has been whittled down to the last 4 teams after the quarter-finals went to plan for the Portuguese, Germans, Spaniards and Italians.
The four matches threw up very few surprises, with all the favourites progressing and the England-Italy match unsurprisingly the tightest of the lot, going all the way to extra time and penalties. Although the results may not have stood out in particular, a number of individuals certainly did, so without further ado here is our WhoScored Quarter-Final Best XI.
In goal, England's Joe Hart made as many as 8 saves to keep the Italian's at bay over the course of 120 minutes, which was a tally only matched by Greece's Sifakis, who conceded 4 goals in comparison. In fact, of the eight keepers to play in the quarter-finals only the aforementioned duo and Czech Republic's Petr Cech made more than one save, with the stoppers of the four sides who progressed to the semis making just 3 saves between them.
Hart is joined by teammates Glen Johnson and Joleon Lescott, with the former proving to be one of England's best attacking threats in the game from right-back. He completed 4 dribbles, which is a joint quarter-final high figure, as well as having England's only shot on target and creating a chance for a teammate. Defensively, Johnson was sound, with 2 interceptions, a block and 4 clearances helping the cause.
Lescott was a rock at the back and completed 3 tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 blocks and 6 clearances, while on the opposing side, Leonardo Bonucci was equally impressive. The Juve defender also completed 3 tackles, as well as 3 interceptions and 6 clearances despite having a far quieter night than the English back four, though he saw plenty of the ball to make 79 passes.
Spain's Jordi Alba completes our backline at left-back, picking up a superb assist for Xabi Alonso's opener in the win over France. The Valencia man saw a lot of the ball, taking 65 touches, but maintained a superb 91% pass accuracy. In a defensive sense he also shone, making 3 tackles and 3 interceptions as the reigning champions comfortably closed out a 2-0 victory to see them through.
Lining up in a 4-3-1-2 formation, our trio in central midfield produced some majestic displays, with an excellent Joao Moutinho assist assuring Portugal's progression past a resolute Czech side. The Porto midfielder was instrumental for his side, having 91 touches and completing 91% of his passes. With 2 out of 2 shots on target, 3 key passes, 3 tackles and 3 interceptions it isn't hard to see why he was voted WhoScored man of the match in the first of the quarter finals.
Italy's Andrea Pirlo was even more involved during his side's eventual penalty shoot-out victory, albeit over 120 minutes, making 155 touches, with the highest England outfielder (Ashley Cole) back on 65. Among those touches were 6 key passes and 2 shots, while he also weighed in with 3 tackles and a joint high of 5 interceptions from the quarter-final stages, as well as completing 4 crosses and 23 long balls in a dominant display.
Completing our midfield is Spain's Xabi Alonso, who celebrated his 100th cap for his nation with a brace and the only goals in the 2-0 win against France. The Real Madrid midfielder had as many as 111 touches in the game and completed 92% of his 97 passes. With 3 of 4 shots on target he impressed in an offensive sense, while 4 tackles and 3 interceptions also helped him pick up a man of the match rating of 8.74.
Stationed just in front of our midfield three, Mesut Ozil pulled the strings with consummate ease in an eventual 4-2 victory over Greece. He picked up 2 assists from a mammoth 9 key passes and also hit the target with all 3 of his scoring attempts, despite failing to net. With a quite remarkable 146 touches in 90 minutes, the second most of any player in normal time at the tournament, his range of passing was impressive, completing 3 out of 3 long balls and an accurate through ball on his way to a quarter-final high rating of 9.29.
Ozil's compatriot Miroslav Klose did his chances of starting in the semi-finals no harm with a goal and impressive display in the same match. The veteran striker had 3 shots in total, all on target, and created a further 2 chances for teammates. With 2 successful aerial duels, 1 successful dribble and an interception to his name, a busy performance will put him right in competition with Mario Gomez should they get to the final, as most expect.
Cristiano Ronaldo completes our XI, scoring the only goal in a narrow win in a game that Portugal dominated. With all eyes on him, Ronaldo didn't shy away and attempted 8 shots at goal, netting with his only effort on target but striking the woodwork twice. A key pass and 3 successful dribbles helped boost the captain's rating to 7.96 even if, as ever, he offered very little defensively in a game in which, to all extents and purposes, he didn't have to.