Euro 2016: Which players were the stat toppers in the quarter-finals?
So here we are with only three more matches to go in UEFA Euro 2016. The quarter-finals are done and dusted and we have our four semi-finalists. Portugal will take on Wales while Germany take on hosts France.
Two of the quarter-final matches were evenly matched until the last kick of the game whereas the other two were largely one-sided. While Wales thoroughly outplayed Belgium to win 3-1 and Iceland were brought back down to earth with a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of France, Germany and Portugal made it through only after a penalty shootout.
Over the four matches, a number of individual performances stood out. Some players led their teams through while others fell by the wayside in spite of putting in memorable performances on the pitch.
We take a look at these players who topped various stats in the quarter-finals.
Most Key Passes: Aaron Ramsey – 6
Arsene Wenger will be pleased as punch to see Arsenal players performing well at the Euros. Olivier Giroud has three goals, Ozil has also managed to get on the scoresheet even if playmaking is his primary duty.
But nothing will please him more than Aaron Ramsey’s form. He is one of the British players he has developed since he was a teenager and Wales have benefited from his presence on the pitch.
While Gareth Bale may get all the plaudits, Ramsey has been at the core of the Welsh midfield. After impressing in the group stages with a goal and assists, he has continued in that rich vein of form in the knockout stages. Against a resurgent Belgium, Ramsey created six chances – two of which were converted into assists.
Ramsey has been involved in five goals at the Euro (the same as Giroud) with four assists (joint top with Eden Hazard). Only Antoine Griezmann has been involved in more goals. Unfortunately, a second yellow card (for a handball) will see him miss the semi-final.
Most Dribbles: Renato Sanches – 7
Portugal’s hero of the game was arguably young Renato Sanches. The 18-year-old Bayern Munich-bound midfielder was running things for the Seleccao in the middle of the park and was duly rewarded with a goal.
In all, Sanches attempted to dribble past his opponents 13 times in the game and he was successful seven times. His goal also saw him beat a player before a neat one-two with Nani allowed him to take a shot and score via a deflection.
His future is bright and he will be a handful for Bundesliga teams next season.