Highly-fancied Germany got their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign off to the perfect start as a stubborn defensive display helped Joachim Löw's charges edge a tight encounter with Portugal in Lviv.
The keystone in that impenetrable backline was Jérôme Boateng, whose impressive handling of Cristiano Ronaldo, in particular, ensured that he was the top performer in the Castrol EDGE Index with a score of 9.2.
The FC Bayern München centre-back's ability to deal with one of the world's finest players was the subject of much scrutiny before the game, but Boateng answered the questions emphatically.
He put in a committed performance, helping his side defend a slew of corners and frustrating the Selecção forwards time and again with a string of interceptions and blocks – none more important than a timely lunge when Ronaldo looked odds-on to score. Boateng was also key to Germany building from the back, and finished with the fifth highest passing value on the pitch.
When Ronaldo did manage to escape the attentions of Boateng, the flying forward showed why he was the one to watch, hitting four shots on target and carving out three chances for his team-mates. Unsurprisingly, his 9.13 rating earned him second place in the Index.
His Real Madrid CF colleague, Fábio Coentrão, was third thanks to his solid defending and precise forward passes.
Castrol EDGE Index: Germany v Portgual
1. Jérôme Boateng (GER) 9.2
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) 9.13
3. Fábio Coentrão (POR) 8.91
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER) 8.75
5. Holger Badstuber (GER) 8.72
0 – Portugal failed to score for the fourth time in their last six matches.
4 – Cristiano Ronaldo had four shots on target. No other player on the pitch managed more than one.
6 – This is the sixth time Germany have won their opening match at a UEFA European Championship – they went on to reach the final on the five previous occasions.
11 – The number of corners taken by Portugal, compared to Germany's two.
23 – The number of shots (including blocked efforts) in the game – the second lowest tally of the tournament so far.
Jérôme Boateng: "Everyone knows about Ronaldo's quality. You cannot keep him quiet for the entire game, but as a team we did really well."
Cristiano Ronaldo: "Anyone who watched the match will have seen that we were better than Germany, and the chances speak for themselves. Now we have to pick ourselves up and continue."
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