Euro 2020 is truly at the business end, with just four teams left and players staking their respective claims for individual honours.
While many standout performers have departed the tournament, there are still plenty left keeping us entertained and on the edge of our seats.
Using Opta’s player index – which calculates ratings based on data collected from every game – Stats Perform power rankings can reveal the top 20 performers to date.
Those eliminated at the group stage have been discounted, but all others to have played in the knockouts are in the frame…
After starting the first two matches of the tournament out of position at right-back – two underwhelming draws – Llorente lost his place in the side and watched from the bench as Spain scored five times against each of Slovakia and Croatia to reach the last eight.
Llorente was among the substitutes again for the Switzerland game but got on in place of Koke in a more natural midfield position and looked much more at home. The Atletico Madrid man had three shots and created three chances in that cameo, perhaps boosting his chances of a semi-final role.
Portugal’s last-16 defeat to Belgium meant Sanches was not involved in the most recent round of fixtures, but he again left his mark on a European Championship.
Showing his dynamism, the Lille midfielder completed 91 per cent of his open-play passes but also led Portugal with three shot-ending carries. Only centre-back pairing Pepe and Ruben Dias topped his 21 recoveries.
Another player missing from the quarter-finals, Benzema is at least back on the international stage and made up for lost time with four goals prior to France’s shock penalty shoot-out defeat to Switzerland.
The Real Madrid striker had only 11 shots, leading the five players with four or more Euro 2020 goals with his shot conversion rate of 36.4 per cent.
If Llorente does not reclaim a starting role for Spain against Italy, it may well be because Atletico team-mate Koke – the man he replaced as a substitute on Friday – is also excelling.
Like Llorente, Koke has a vast array of talents.
He had two shots and played four key passes against Switzerland but also trails only Xaver Schlager and Toni Kroos – who have both now been eliminated – with nine tackles won at the tournament.
Blind bowed out early as the Netherlands were stunned by the Czech Republic in the second round, but he remains high up Opta’s index thanks to four impressive performances.
The Ajax defender led the Oranje in tackles won (seven) and was second behind Frenkie de Jong for recoveries (30). Blind was also involved in the team’s build-up playing, with sequences involving the former Manchester United man leading to 12 shots worth a combined 2.0 expected goals (xG).
The defining image of Christensen from this tournament will surely be his thumping strike against Russia, but he and a previously rampant Denmark outfit were also required to do some defending against the Czech Republic.
Christensen made two tackles, two clearances, two interceptions and one block to help limit Patrik Schick and Co to just the one goal, reaching a Wembley date with England.
Although Belgium are out, Lukaku leaves Euro 2020 with his head held high, the Inter striker having scored four times over the course of the tournament. He certainly cannot be accused of going missing against Italy either, his successful penalty one of three shots on target as he attempted to carry the faltering Red Devils through.
But with Eden Hazard out injured and Kevin De Bruyne not 100 per cent fit, Belgium just didn’t have enough to see off the vibrant and solid Italians despite matching their 1.8 xG in the match, with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci impressing at the heart of the Azzurri defence.
England have kept seven consecutive clean sheets for the first time in their history, with five of those coming at the Euros. Only Italy, at the 1990 World Cup, had previously began a World Cup or European Championship with five straight clean sheets.
And Stones is the only Three Lions defender to have started all five matches. His error against Poland in March led to the last goal England conceded, but the Manchester City man looks an assured presence right now.
While Spain have impressed and frustrated in equal measure, Pedri has been largely exceptional, especially considering he’s only 18, and he was similarly integral to La Roja’s system against Switzerland.
He laid on five key passes in open play – a single-game figure that leads the way at Euro 2020 – as the Barcelona talent was heavily involved in Spain’s build-up play. That has been a key element throughout and is underscored by the fact sequences involving Pedri have had an xG value of 7.8, with the next best of everyone in the tournament being 6.3.
To have such influence and trust at his age is truly remarkable.
Sweden did not always thrill in this tournament, but Forsberg provided a regular source of entertainment with some dazzling displays.
He scored four goals, with the three from open play coming from efforts worth just 0.99 xG. The RB Leipzig forward was desperately unfortunate not to add to that impressive differential as he twice hit the woodwork with superb attempts in Sweden’s defeat to Ukraine.
Veteran Vermaelen produced a defensive masterclass against Portugal in the last 16, with three tackles, five clearances, two interceptions and two blocks to protect a precious clean sheet.
Belgium bowed out as Italy were able to breach that back line in the next round, despite Vermaelen again excelling. He had four tackles, four clearances, five interceptions and two blocks. Six blocks for the tournament ranks joint-second.
It was fitting that Shaqiri should score against Spain in the quarters, such is his influence in this Switzerland team, also captaining the side with Granit Xhaka suspended.
No Swiss player topped Shaqiri’s five shots on target and three goals from open play at these finals, with his 1.61 open-play xG leading the way. Remo Freuler’s red card unfortunately meant he was sacrificed against Spain prior to the penalty shoot-out pain.
Italy’s marauding left-back was surely on track to be in consideration for individual awards at the end of this tournament given how effective he had been, but unfortunately his Euro 2020 is over prematurely after suffering an Achilles injury against Belgium.
Prior to that, Jordi Alba was the only to defender to have created more chances in open play than Spinazzola (seven), who had delighted with his charging runs up the left, with only Joakim Maehle in the tournament matching his six shot-ending ball carries. He will be a big miss for Italy in the semi-finals.
So good were Pogba’s performances at Euro 2020 that, even after their elimination in the round of 16, he is still present in the power rankings. With eight chances created in four games, he averaged two key passes per match and also got a stunning goal against Switzerland.
He was very effective in that game as he laid on four chances and also recorded a team-high 12 recoveries, but you have to mention his role in the Swiss equaliser, as he lost possession. Either way, Manchester United fans will have been suitably excited by his displays over the past few weeks.
The breakout star of the tournament? Regardless of the Czech Republic’s elimination on Saturday, Schick is certainly in the conversation given he’s the only player to match Cristiano Ronaldo’s five goals at Euro 2020, the latest of which came in the 2-1 defeat to Denmark.
Schick’s haul comes from an xG of 2.4, giving him a 2.6 over-performance that is unmatched by anyone in Euro 2020 having also become only the fourth player to ever score five goals for the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia in a major competition. He may be heading home, but undoubtedly with his reputation enhanced.
Spain have been somewhat erratic at Euro 2020, but Alba has been consistently excellent and typically a menace up the left flank, with his shot leading to the opening goal against Switzerland as Denis Zakaria put into his own net.
La Roja needed penalties to get past the Swiss, though it wasn’t for a lack of trying on Alba’s part. He took his open-play key passes to 10 – bettered by no one – and while he may only have one assist in the competition, his tournament-leading xA (expected assists) value of 2.3 suggests he’s been let down by the finishing of others.
Dolberg only got into the Denmark starting XI due to a Yussuf Poulsen injury. Two games on and he’s already become the first Dane to score three or more at a single major tournament since Euro 2004.
His effort against the Czechs – one of only two shots – proved to be the winner, and that combined with the fact his trio of goals have come from an xG of 1.6 highlights just how clinical he has been. If Denmark can get past England, it would be fair to assume Dolberg will have had something to do with it.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho continues to enjoy a fine tournament, once again playing his vital defensive shield role to near-perfection against Belgium. His two interceptions and nine recoveries, which were team-highs, helped get Italy back on the ball and his 71 successful passes from 72 attempts ensured they generally kept it.
His involvement carries value as well, given he has contributed to 31 shot-ending passing sequences, a figure bettered by only Pedri, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Lorenzo Insigne. While we perhaps have not learned much new about Jorginho in Euro 2020, his performances have confirmed his status as one of the world’s best in his role.
While he may not top the rankings this time, Maehle’s stock continues to rise after another fine performance in Denmark’s 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in which he provided the decisive moment of inspiration.
His stunning outside-of-the-boot cross preceded Dolberg’s close-range volley and was his third goal involvement in three games (he had two in his previous 12 caps), which isn’t bad at all for a full-back.
Eyebrows were raised when Verratti, Italy’s most creative player, was withdrawn with the game goalless 23 minutes from the end of normal time against Austria in the previous round. But he retained his place in the starting XI against Belgium and was tremendous.
He was as influential as ever with more touches (104) and successful passes (84) than anyone else, while he took his open-play key passes tally to 10 for the tournament, a joint-high, as he teed up Nicolo Barella for the opener with a well-timed interception and pass.