Euro 2016: Final tournament grades - Round of 16 losers
With eight teams eliminated from the competition, which team actually punched above their weight?
With the round-of-16 wrapping up of Euro 2016, we wave goodbye to 8 more sides whose dream of lifting the trophy has come to and end. But how did they get on? Did they meet expectations? Did they over perform? Let us have a look and grade the performances:
The first side to exit in this round of 16 at the hands of Poland in a dramatic game that saw probably one of the goals of the tournament. But they made tough work getting out of the group to make it that far. 10 man Albania gave them a bit of a scare in the opening game of Group A, and the Albanians would have been well worth a point at the very least that day.
They fulfilled the expectations of making it out the group stage and unfortunately came undone against a decent side in Poland, but failed to really show their full potential as a whole.
Star man: Granit Xhaka.
Despite the penalty miss against Poland, he was the heartbeat of the Swiss side this summer. Two man of the match performances in the group stage is enough to stand out amongst his team mates.
Best Moment: Shaqiri goal vs Poland.
The Stoke City winger is undoubtedly a talented player but fails to show it on a consistent enough level. But this moment of magic to put his side back on level terms may go down as the goal of the tournament. No ones suggesting he score overhead kicks every week, but it makes you wonder if he can show moments of quality like this more often where would he be?
Overall Grade: C+
Croatia impressed most in this tournament; they looked solid in the group stage despite their collapse against the Czech Republic. They also got a decent scalp in the form of Spain in the last game of the group. But a lacklustre performance in one of the dullest game of the tournament saw them exit at the hands of Portugal.
They were a dark horse for many and will be disappointed not to make it further than the round of 16. Especially considering they faced a Portugal side that haven’t been able to find their feet at this tournament. A win against Spain isn’t enough to hide the failures, unfortunately.
Star man: Vedran Corluka
A rock at the back for Croatia at times the tournament. None more so than the Turkey game in which he put his body on the line time and time again, a true centre halves performance. Was also one of the only men to impress in the Portugal game. There’s life in the old dog still.
Best Moment: Perisic goal vs Spain.
Spain hadn’t lost a game in the Euros since 2004. So to beat the double winners is a very impressive trait. Perisic’s strike may have came off Gerard Pique and fooled David de Gea on one of his wobbly nights, but they all count and it has to be their finest moment this year.
Overall Grade: C+