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Euro 2024: Five players who impressed in the quarter-finals

Following the quarter-finals at Euro 2024 we’ve picked out five players who impressed in the last-eight ties.

Dani Olmo – Spain

Dani Olmo has been pushing for a place in the Spain side and was introduced as an early substitute against Germany after Pedri’s injury. Olmo offered a more creative complement to Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, venturing forward from midfield to make things happen.

He was involved in much of Spain’s best work in the final third and opened the scoring brilliantly as he arrived onto Yamal’s cut-back to sweep a finish into the bottom corner. In the final seconds of extra-time, he created the winner, with a perfect cross for Mikel Merino to head home and send Spain into the semi-finals.

With Pedri’s tournament now over, Olmo can be decisive in the latter stages for La Roja.

Florian Wirtz – Germany

Florian Wirtz was not included from the start for Germany’s clash with Spain and his impact off the bench will have many questioning that decision. The 21-year-old was a constant threat after his introduction with sharp touches and perfectly weighted passes and should have had an assist when his cross was steered onto the post by Niclas Füllkrug.

Wirtz’s moment did arrive with a brilliant late leveller, as the midfielder kept his cool to drive Joshua Kimmich’s clever nod down into the bottom corner. Germany’s campaign ended as Merino’s extra-time winner snatched it for Spain but there was a lot to like about the hosts in this tournament. Wirtz was a central part of that.

Bukayo Saka – England

England stumbled on after a nail-biter against Switzerland was decided on penalties. Gareth Southgate tweaked his team with a change in shape, though surprised with the decision for Bukayo Saka to remain on the right-hand side.

It was a decision vindicated as Saka starred against the Swiss in a deeper wing-back role, terrifying Michel Aebischer during an electric first-half performance. Saka’s intelligent runs stunted the impact of the Swiss wing-back and made him England’s key threat in a wide role.

His goal dragged England back into the game as he cut inside to arrow an equaliser in off the far post before the 22-year-old exorcised his Euro 2020 final demons with a cool penalty in the shootout success. It’s not been convincing but England are into the last four. From here, anything is possible.

Arda Güler – Turkey

Euro 2024 waved goodbye to one of its most entertaining teams on Sunday as Turkey’s memorable campaign was ended by the Netherlands. The Crescent-Stars have been a brilliant watch and none more so than Arda Güler, who even in defeat showed he is a superstar-in-waiting.

A sensational cross from his weaker right foot allowed Samet Akaydin to head Turkey ahead in the contest, a delightful delivery that took Bart Verbruggen out of the game. He was inches from doubling the lead as a fantastic free-kick curled against the outside of the post before the Dutch mounted a second-half comeback to break Turkish hearts. The future, however, looks bright with Güler in their ranks.

Stefan De Vrij – Netherlands

The Netherlands needed their fair share of luck to beat Turkey in an entertaining quarter-final, as the Oranje weathered serious pressure before a one-two punch in the second half.

Stefan De Vrj was named man of the match in Berlin after the centre-back scored a crucial equaliser and made vital interventions at the other end.

The 32-year-old leapt to meet Memphis Depay’s delivery and power home the leveller for the Netherlands, before making a brilliant block from Kerem Aktürkoğlu as Turkey pushed for an equaliser of their own late on.

Ronald Koeman’s side have not looked comfortable defensively this tournament and De Vrij’s inclusion ahead of Matthijs de Ligt and Micky van de Ven has been a talking point. The Inter defender repaid his manager’s faith in the last eight.

Read – Tweets of the Week: England are in the semi-finals, Ronaldo is Homelander

See more – The most expensive Premier League transfers so far in summer 2024

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