Euro 2024 power rankings: how the teams in the last eight shaped up

<span>(Clockwise from top left) Spain’s <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Mikel Merino;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Mikel Merino</a>, Kylian Mbappé of France, the Netherlands’ Cody Gakpo and England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.</span><span>Composite: Guardian Picture Desk</span>

1) Spain (–)

They had to come through one hell of a battle against Germany, losing Pedri to injury after eight minutes, but in the end the players stood there, arms aloft, having made the semis thanks to Mikel Merino’s late headed goal. Dani Olmo had said beforehand that the game felt like a final and afterwards it was difficult to comprehend that Spain were not even in the final yet. Against France, they will be without the suspended Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand, with Jesús Navas and Nacho Fernández likely to deputise. It could disrupt the selección’s rhythm but they should have the squad to cope with the difficulties. Olmo started on the bench against Germany but in the end was arguably Spain’s best player.

2) Netherlands (up 1)

From being heavily criticised after the final group game defeat against Austria to reaching the semis – these Euros have been a rollercoaster for Ronald Koeman and his players. Even the quarter-final against Turkey had its own highs and lows with the Oranje having to come back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 and then only avoided extra time after a superb Bart Verbruggen save in the 91st minute. At the end they had done just enough to win, Wout Weghorst – who else? – having come on at half-time to create havoc in the Turkish defence. Memphis Depay is looking livelier for every game, Cody Gakpo has been irrepressible and Tijjani Reijnders is growing into the midfield leader Koeman felt he had lost when Frenkie de Jong had to pull out on the eve of the tournament.

3) England (up 5)

Never in doubt was it? After Jude Bellingham’s late heroics in the last 16 against Slovakia it was Bukayo Saka’s turn to step up against Switzerland and equalise with 10 minutes to go of normal time. A win on penalties followed. For England it was a step up performance-wise although they had set a very low bar to achieve that with their first four showings in Germany. There was a move to a back three and the team felt better balanced. Ezri Konsa did well in place of Marc Guéhi in defence and Kobbie Mainoo continued his upward trajectory. And with Luke Shaw getting his first minutes of the tournament and no suspensions for the semi-final against the Netherlands, things are looking up. “We are fighting and we are not going to stop fighting,” said Gareth Southgate and belief in the squad that England can win the tournament is building.

4) France (–)

It would be easier to list the things that are working for Les Bleus at this tournament rather than the ones that aren’t, but Didier Deschamps will not care. His team are through to the semi-finals after defeating Portugal on penalties after another rather disjointed display. The midfield is not working, Antoine Griezmann is out of form and Kylian Mbappé is struggling with his broken nose and other fitness issues. Deschamps said: “For different reasons, Antoine and Kylian are not at the top of what they can do but we are through. We are a group, the collective strength is still there.” Ousmane Dembélé made a positive impact from the bench and may well start against Spain.


5) Germany (down 3)

And so the Sommermärchen 2.0 came to a juddering halt 118 minutes into the quarter-final against Spain, Mikel Merino leaping to head in a 2-1 winner for the visitors. It was an aggressive performance by Julian Nagelsmann’s team – ugly at times – but they had reasons to feel hard done by with Niclas Füllkrug and Florian Wirtz hitting the post and the non-award of a penalty after the ball struck Marc Cucurella’s hand. Nagelsmann was rightly pleased with his team, saying: “I told the players we didn’t deserve this. There was a great togetherness. We are a country that is too sad in too many situations, with a dark perspective on things, and I hope this symbiosis can create something. We are stronger with unity, when we think about what we can do together; together with your neighbour you are stronger.”

6) Turkey (–)

“I’m proud of my team,” Hakan Calhanoglu said. “They played with great spirit, the Turkish spirit.” In the end they did not have quite enough to come through against the Dutch, losing 2-1 in Berlin. Once again, though, they were a joy to watch with Arda Guler the breakout player of the tournament. But it wasn’t just the Real Madrid forward. Baris Alper Yilmaz was a force to be reckoned with up front, Hakan Calhanoglu pulled the strings in midfield and Mert Gunok impressed with his saves and the ball at his feet. As the coach, Vincenzo Montella, said: “I look at the future with much more confidence and clarity. My opinion after this European Championship is that Turkey will be seen with different eyes in the future, probably with more respect.”

7) Switzerland (down 2)

“The pain will subside. What will remain is a terrible scar, of a miracle that never happened, and that disappeared just outside Düsseldorf.” Those were the words of the Swiss paper 24 heures after Murat Yakin’s side had been eliminated on penalties against England. The general consensus was that the team had given everything with another paper, NZZ, adding: “Switzerland missed out on their goal [semi-finals’] – but it was a joy.” Considering the form was patchy going in to the tournament, the Swiss overachieved but there will be a sense of regret: they had the chance to reach the final here and who knows when they will get another chance like it. Yakin said on Sunday that there will be talks over his future now but that all he cared about was “the best for the national team”. It is fair he achieved that this summer.

8) Portugal (down 1)

There is no disgrace in going out to France but Portugal will be kicking themselves for losing a tight quarter-final during which they were the better side. Nuno Mendes and Rafael Leão stood out as Roberto Martínez’s side put pressure on France’s goal but Mike Maignan stood firm, producing a wonderful one-handed save to deny Bruno Fernandes and also parrying Vitinha’s effort. It was easy to feel sorry for João Félix, the only player of 10 to miss his spot-kick (and even that hit a post) but maybe if you do not score for 120 minutes against Slovenia and 120 minutes against France you don’t deserve to reach the semi-finals. Would Gonçalo Ramos have made a difference had he started – or even got some minutes – instead of Cristiano Ronaldo against France? We will never know.