With the group stages now over and the quarter-finalists known, this day break from football gives us a perfect chance to analyse the best players at the tournament so far. Here we will give you a rundown of our best XI over the three group matches according to WhoScored ratings and explain just why they have made the grade.
Team of the Group Stages
We start in goal, where England's Joe Hart just gets the nod over Iker Casillas. Although the City stopper has conceded 3 goals compared to the Spaniard's 1, Hart has been significantly busier, making 14 saves at the tournament thus far. This tally is only down on Ireland's Shay Given, who has had a tournament to forget having picked the ball out of the net on 9 occasions as the luck of the Irish well and truly evaporated. Another joint tournament-high of 4 good high claims has helped England progress thanks to combative displays against France & co-hosts Ukraine.
Our back four are all from different nations, with Germany's Mats Hummels and Portugal's Pepe the cream of the crop in the centre, with the latter edging Daniel Agger to the bench. The young German ranks highly for interceptions (13 - equal second), tackles (12 - equal sixth) and clearances (22 - equal eighth), while his superb 92.5% pass accuracy is also eighth of players to start all three games thus far. In comparison, Pepe's goal against Denmark certainly boosted his rating, though an 83% aerial duel success rate is also among some stand out statistics.
Our right full-back is Spain's Alvaro Arbeloa, with only teammate Ramos averaging more passes per game than the Madrid-man's 61.3 of defenders at the tournament. With an assist to his name from the back, his 89.1% pass accuracy is in keeping with the rest of the side, with averages of 2.3 tackles and 1 key pass per game both up on Alba on the opposite flank.
On the left we have Poland's Sebastian Boenisch, whose rampages down the line have caught the eye (Euro 2012 Focus: Surprise Packages) even if he is not the most technically gifted player. The 25-year-old ranks in the top 10 for tackles (12 - equal sixth) and interceptions (9 - equal tenth) as well as having more shots than any other defender thus far (6).
The ousted Russian duo of Alan Dzagoev and Andrey Arshavin take their places on the wings and actually rank as the top two players respectively in our ratings from the group stages (8.03 & 7.99). Their performances ensure that David Silva has to make do with a place on the bench, with Arshavin currently joint-top with the Spaniard for assists (3).
The Arsenal-man ranks third for key passes (15), second for dribbles (10) and equal seventh for accurate crosses (7), while Dzagoev remains the joint-leading scorer, with 3. His 11 shots prior to the Russians’ unceremonious exit also rank in the top 10, but most surprisingly an excellent tally of 12 tackles sees him tied for sixth of all players at Euro 2012.
In the heart of our midfield experience has clearly been key. England's Steven Gerrard is our top-rated central midfielder, having picked up 2 assists as well as doing all the hard work to create Rooney's winner against Ukraine. A total of 13 tackles is only bettered by 3 players, and his cross accuracy has really shone, with a diagonal ball to Andy Carroll perhaps the cross of the tournament to date. His 8 accurate crosses have come from just 17 attempted deliveries, with a 47% accuracy nothing short of superb.
When compared to his partner here, Italy's Andrea Pirlo, whose delivery is world-renowned, it stands out further, with the Juve string-puller completing a still impressive 7 of 21 attempts (33%). Pirlo's 8 key passes, 2 assists and stunning free-kick against Croatia mean he makes our XI ahead of Cabaye and Xavi.
Our star man up front will no longer be gracing the tournament with his presence, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic making it abundantly clear that Sweden's departure will mean that he will be heading straight off on holiday. Luckily for England, before he left the Milan forward had time to score a stunning volley to ensure Hodgson's men topped Group D over France. The goal was his second of the tournament and one of 11 shots from his deeper role in the national side. He also contributed 2.7 key passes per game, though it wasn't enough to avoid an early exit.
Partnering the Swede we have German marksman Mario Gomez, whose 3 goals thus far see him rank as favourite for the Golden Boot, with Dzagoev and Mandzukic both leaving the competition. Gomez's triple has come from just 9 shots, while he also has an assist to his name, with only David Silva equalling his direct contribution to 4 goals thus far. An average of just 16.3 passes per game is the fifth fewest of outfielders to have started all three matches so far, though Germany won't mind if he can fire them to victory this summer.