Who was best and worst in the quarters?

Euro 2024 Power Ranking: England on the up as Germany and Portugal fall…

The quarter-finals of Euro 2024 are over, and there was little to split the eight teams as England and France won on penalties – and hosts Germany fell in extra-time.

While the entertainment value was somewhat variable, all four of the quarters were absorbing, competitive affairs. A dramatic end to the much-hyped Germany vs Spain clash on Friday evening set the tone for a memorable weekend of action.

We’ve ranked the teams that made the quarters from best to worst, with England on the rise.

Note: If you want to point and laugh at us, you can also read our ranking after the first, second and third round of group-stage matches, as well as the Round of 16

8. Turkey ⬇️

Alongside Georgia, we’re eternally thankful to Turkey for bringing chaos and entertainment at a Euros that has threatened to fizzle out after starting with a bang.

They lived up to their billing in what was comfortably the most open of the four quarter-finals, taking a deserved lead and squandering a couple of opportunities to double it against the Netherlands, yet there was always a sense – like Georgia – that their volatility would cost them in the end.

That proved to be the case in the end, which defensive lapses in their 2-1 defeat offering a reminder of their hapless 3-0 defeat to Portugal in the group stages.

After requiring a Gordon Banks-esque wondersave to book their place in the last eight, Turkey’s luck ran out against Cody Gakpo and co.

We’ll miss watching them attack with wonderful, reckless abandon.

7. Portugal ⬇️

Looking at the likes of Pepe, Joao Cancelo, Vitinha, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Rafael Leao, we couldn’t help but feel that Portugal might have been up there with Spain if Roberto Martinez didn’t treat Euro 2024 as The Cristiano Ronaldo Testimonial Tour.

No player at Euro 2024 underperformed their expected goals more than Ronaldo, who somehow played more minutes than any other outfielder in the tournament.

Across five games, including 240 performance art minutes of knockout football, he notched 22 shots, nine on target, 3.4xG, just 86 passes completed, one missed penalty and zero goals.

In his 11th major tournament, Ronaldo failed to score for the first time. This was clearly one tournament too many for the 39-year-old, leaving Portugal effectively starting and ending games with 10 men.

With the likes of Diogo Jota and Goncalo Ramos – scorer of a knockout hat-trick in a six-goal mauling when Ronaldo was dropped at the last World Cup – unused as alternative options, Martinez’s reliance on Ronaldo has to go down as the biggest managerial misstep of Euro 2024.

Cristiano Ronaldo looks forlorn while Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup

READ: Comparing Messi & Ronaldo’s wildly different records over the last three major international tournaments

6. Switzerland ⬇️

There is (was?) undoubted, serious quality in the spine of Switzerland’s team – with Yann Sommer, Manuel Akanji and Granit Xhaka coming into Euro 2024 off the back of playing starring roles winning league titles in three of Europe’s five major leagues.

Beyond those exceptional foundations, this was probably the team that’s most punched above their weight relative to the talent at their disposal.

They came close to beating hosts Germany in the group stage before comprehensively outplaying Italy in the first knockout stage and matching England in the quarters.

Switzerland did very little wrong against England, giving away few big chances and only conceding through a piece of individual brilliance.

Very little would have had to have gone differently for us to be talking them up as one of the great tournament surprise packages.

5. Germany ⬇️

Talked up as the biggest box-office bout of Euro 2024 so far, Germany vs Spain didn’t disappoint.

It was a different kind of contest to the one we were expecting, though, with Julian Nagelsmann’s side happy to deploy a more robust, physical approach – the tone set by Toni Kroos being lucky to escape a booking after two crunching challenges in the opening minutes.

As the match went on, Kroos might easily have emulated fellow Real Madrid icon Zinedine Zidane in being dismissed in his final-ever match.

The game plan was not a bad one, though. They were well worth their late equaliser and looked the likelier of the two sides to go on and win it from thereon, only to be caught out in the dying minutes.

They might have even grabbed a second equaliser through game-changing havoc-wreaker Niclas Fullkrug.

This was not a vintage Germany, but it was also the best they’ve looked at a major tournament in ages. Small details did for them in Stuttgart, while you could easily have imagined them getting to the final from the other side of the draw.

Clear progress under Nagelsmann.

READ NEXT: Ranking every BBC & ITV Euros opening sequence since 1996 from worst to best

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the captain of every Euro 2024 squad?

4. Netherlands 🟰

We’ve been even less convinced about Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands than England at times this tournament, yet here they are.

You can’t help but feel that a giant slice of fortune has been with them, ever since their shambolic 3-2 defeat to Austria in the group stages conspired to give them a favourable route to this point, first up against a limited Romania and then against a gloriously fun but equally fallible Turkey.

To give the Netherlands credit, they deserve to be where they are. They outclassed Romania and pushed well to turn the tie around against Turkey.

There remain big question marks over the Netherlands’ midfield balance and ability to manage games, as well as Ronald Koeman’s managerial chops, but in fairness you’d say the same of their semi-final opponents. Wide open.

3. England ⬆️

We can’t quite share the BBC pundit team’s effusively enthusiastic reaction to England’s performance against Switzerland, but it was an improvement on the very low bar set in earlier games.

Gareth Southgate’s side were far from brilliant, requiring a piece of individual brilliance from Bukayo Saka and penalty shootout heroics to avoid a serious inquest today.

The game itself was a largely turgid stalemate, but the Three Lions were nevertheless halfway competent, balanced and finally – finally – started to see the best from some of their outrageously talented forwards.

Saka, in particular, produced by a country mile the best individual performance from any of England’s attack-minded players in Germany so far. This is not a great team, but they’ve once again shown their adeptness at dealing with tournament football.

They’re rightfully favourites for the semi but will surely need to up their game if they’re to beat either Spain or France should they make the final.

Where would England be without these two?

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every team England have played at the World Cup or Euros?

2. France ⬆️

Les Bleus have somehow managed to make it all the way to the final four without scoring a goal of their own from open play. Four hundred and eighty minutes of football. Two spawny own goals. One Kylian Mbappe penalty. That’s yer lot.

But they’re also yet to concede from open play, with Robert Lewandowski’s stuttery group-stage penalty – initially saved by Mike Maignan before a retake – the only goal they’ve let in.

Five matches in and between France and the opposition there have been six clean sheets and just four goals scored. Is this real life or are we all collectively living out Didier Deschamps’ lurid fantasies?

Deschamps’ men aren’t going to win any awards for style, but they’ve been solid, with Maignan, William Saliba and N’Golo Kante particularly inspired by the abundantly functional spine.

The less said about the other end of the pitch the better, with Kylian Mbappe off-colour and France misfiring as the tournament’s biggest xG underperformers.

Winning on penalties after three successive shootout defeats was not something we saw coming, especially after a raft of substitutions left unproven spot-kick takers facing Portugal’s Diogo Costa, who saved all three he faced in the previous round.

Yet here they are, through to the semis after converting all five.

France are more than happy to live in fine margins, knowing they possess the quality to land on the right side. That strategy might yet work out for them.

1. Spain 🟰

There was a strange paradox from Spain’s last-gasp quarter-final victory over Germany, in that they looked several rungs below their best-in-class standards after the withdrawal of dynamic duo Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams against Germany.

And yet Luis de la Fuente’s changes ultimately worked, with substitute Mikel Merino winning it at the death with an unlikely header.

Still, the drop was notable and underlined the limitations of La Roja’s squad.

They’ll be forced to lean on their fringe players more as they approach Tuesday’s semi-final bruised and battered, Pedri injured and more out through suspension. Mercifully, Yamal and Williams ought to be fresh and firing after escaping the bloodbath early.

There’s no question that Spain have been the outstanding side of Euro 2024 so far, and they overcame their toughest test yet.

But it could yet take its toll as they gear up for facing a France side who pride themselves in their stodgy organisation.