EURO 2024: Germany v Spain, Ronaldo v Mbappé – The quarter-finals battle

EURO 2024: The quarter-finals showdown

The Euro 2024 quarter-finals have plenty to offer, ranging from a Germany v Spain showdown and a duel between Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and French Kylian Mbappe to underdogs Switzerland and Turkey aiming to topple England and the Netherlands.

Euro 2024 has reached the quarter-final stage after an intriguing round of 16, with much more drama expected in the upcoming matches, which include a duel between the record winners Germany and Spain and a rematch of the 2016 final between France and Portugal.The two blockbusters start the action on Friday before, on Saturday, England takes on Switzerland and the Netherlands faces Turkey.

Following is a look at the quarter-final match-ups:

Spain v Germany

The Stuttgart duel of the triple winners has been dubbed by many as worthy of a final and will be the biggest test for the German hosts as well as the Spaniards.

Germany has scored the most goals in the tournament, but five of them came in an opening 5-1 win over Scotland. They needed two lucky VAR breaks on a stormy night in Dortmund to beat Denmark 2-0 in the last 16.

Exciting youngster Jamal Musiala scored his third goal of the tournament against the Danes, while retirement-bound 2014 World Cup winner Toni Kroos has marshaled the midfield and Antonio Rüdiger has so far held together the back line.

But they now face a new look Spain, which has made the biggest impression so far at the Euros, is the only team to win all four matches, the latest being a 4-1 win over Georgia.

Youngsters Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams have dazzled on the wings, Pedri runs the midfield like an old pro, and Fabian Ruiz has also emerged as a leading figure.

Spain has not lost a tournament match against Germany since 1988 and has beaten them in both previous knockout matches, the Euro 2008 final and the 2010 World Cup semis.

Midfielder Rodri said he believes that the Germans “are not so happy that they have to play against us,” while Germany captain Ilkay Gündogan insisted that Spain “has more respect for us than they publicly admit.”

Portugal v France

Cristiano Ronaldo faces Kylian Mbappé in Friday's other heavyweight clash in Hamburg, which was the final just eight years ago in the Stade de France, where Portugal prevailed 1-0 despite losing talisman Ronaldo due to injury.

The forward left the pitch in tears, and he was crying again on Monday when he missed an extra-time penalty against Slovenia before stepping up again and succeeding in a shoot-out where goalkeeper Diogo Costa saved all Slovenian attempts to see them through.

EURO 2024
01 July 2024, North Rhine-Westphalia, Duesseldorf: France's Kylian Mbappe reacts during the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between France and Belgium at the Duesseldorf Arena. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa

Ronaldo is yet to find the net in Germany, as he badly wants to become the first player to score at six Euros. At 39, he would also be the oldest scorer ever, unless his 41-year-old team-mate Pepe steals the show.

Scoring is also an issue for France, whose 1-0 wins in the group stage over Austria and in the last 16 over Belgium came from their own goals. Les Bleus' only other goal came from a Mbappé penalty, as they have yet to find the net from open play in 360 minutes.

But coach Didier Deschamps insisted: “An own goal if it's deflected, means someone had to shoot. If that finishes in the net, so be it. It's been tricky for us since the start of the Euro, but we've always had chances.”

While losing the 2016 final, France have beaten Portugal in the semi-finals of the 1984 and 2000 Euros and 2006 World Cup.

England v Switzerland

England's largely unconvincing campaign appeared to have ended in the last 16 against Slovakia, but up stepped Jude Bellingham with a stoppage time overhead kick equalizer, and Harry Kane then headed them into the last eight.

The Three Lions have plenty of talent in their latest search for a first major title since the 1966 World Cup, and manager Gareth Southgate believes that the dramatic win “will give the whole group belief.”

But England ran into a Swiss side that was seconds away from beating Germany in the group stage, eliminated title holders Italy 2-0 in the last 16, and now also wants the scalp of the 2021 runners-up England.

“We often showed that we can beat the best teams,” midfielder Ruben Vargas said confidently ahead of the Düsseldorf tie.

With defender Manuel Akanji and midfielder Granit Xhaka the standout players in a well-organized team, the Swiss aim for a first-ever semi-final berth at a major event.

Netherlands v Turkey

Like others, the Dutch were far from impressive in the group stage but raised their game in the last 16, where a 3-0 scoreline against Romania did not fully reflect their dominance.

“It was important today to make a small statement. I hope we can continue like that,” Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo said.

Coach Ronald Koeman was part of the team that won the title the last time the Euros were played in Germany, in 1988, and said that the team must now keep up the level.

The Dutch are famous for their tens of thousands of traveling fans, but in Berlin's Olympic stadium, they are likely to be outnumbered by passionate supporters from Germany's large Turkish community and the team's homeland.

Turkey showed their determination in a 2-1 last-16 win over Austria, where Merih Demiral scored twice and goalkeeper Mert Günok made a save for the ages. They now hope that their journey takes them to the semi-finals like in 2008.

“I'm very excited to play in Berlin in front of our supporters. The Netherlands are very difficult opponents. But we believe in ourselves and we want to go through to the next round too,” young star player Arda Güler said.

Randy Osei Akoto

A content creator, writer, blogger and digital marketer currently the Editor and writer at Believes in hard work and keeps up with latest trending stories making rounds across the globe in all aspects, from politics, sports, entertainment, health, business etc.

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