Three standout players from the Euro 2024 Quarter Finals
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Three standout players from the Euro 2024 Quarter Finals

07/07/24 19:12

The final four teams in Euro 2024 have been decided, with Spain taking on France on Tuesday and the Netherlands playing England on Wednesday. There were some incredible ties over the course of the weekend and one major exit, as Germany were defeated by the Spanish.

We learnt a lot about how the remaining teams play from their games, with France going for a more defensively minded approach than Spain, and both England and the Netherlands preferring to make things difficult for themselves. We also learnt much about some key players for their nations through how they played in the Quarter Finals so we decided to take a look at three individuals who really stood out.

Fabian Ruiz

Fabian Ruiz has had an incredible Euro 2024 so far and, for me, is most deserving of winning the Player of the Tournament award. Not only has he scored twice, once in their opening Group Stage game and once in the Round of 16, but he has helped control the more difficult games for Spain.

The Spanish midfield must be a difficult role to fill, considering the number of incredible players who have played there, but Fabian is certainly doing a stellar job there, alongside Rodri who has been as good as ever. Unfortunately, my pre-tournament Player of the Tournament prediction looks as if it will not come true, as Pedri, Spain’s other midfield starter, will miss the final games through injury.

While he didn’t manage to find the net on Friday against Germany, Fabian once again showed his class as he helped his team control large proportions of the game. His passing game is certainly his strongest attribute and it was on full display throughout the 120 minutes. Other than the goals, the standout moment in the game for me was Fabian’s outrageous turn in midfield which sold three Germany players and allowed Spain to drive forward. It is still replaying in my head two days later.

Bukayo Saka

England have been poor throughout the tournament, but thanks to a few individual moments, they are somehow in the final four. They were a lot better than they have been when they faced Switzerland, but that doesn’t mean that they were particularly good.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has probably been their most consistent threat in attack, despite many fans calling for Cole Palmer to start ahead of him. He provided an assist in the opening group game and since then has been running at defenders and providing crosses to a seemingly empty 18-yard box.

It was more of the same on Saturday, except this time there were players waiting to receive Saka’s crosses. Kobbie Mainoo had the best chance to give Saka an assist, but his effort was blocked by Granit Xhaka. The Arsenal man decided in the second half to take matters into his own hands before unleashing a trademark finish into the bottom left corner, leaving Yann Sommer rooted to the spot. He capped off his display by dispatching England’s third penalty in the shootout, which the Three Lions eventually won.

Dani Olmo

The second Spanish player on the list, Dani Olmo didn’t start the game against Germany, but was brought on early in the first half after Pedri was upended by a now retired Toni Kroos. Olmo has played second fiddle for much of the tournament, as he is more of an attack minded player than Pedri and so has to be content with being an impact sub for Spain. This hasn’t stopped him from scoring twice however.

Olmo’s first goal was Spain’s fourth as they thumped Georgia 4-1 in the Round of 16. He came on for Pedri again in that game, seven minutes into the second half and took the game by storm, proving himself to be a real threat.

Against Germany, he picked up where he left off the last game. Even with the likes of Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the pitch, Olmo looked like Spain’s biggest threat, and he scored the opening goal in the 51st minute. Even though Germany were able to claw themselves back into the game, Olmo managed to still provide some create flair for Spain, setting up a few chances, including the winner in the 119th minute.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Jake Martin

Writer

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