While Cristiano Ronaldo is still the man to catch at the summit of the Castrol EDGE Index following the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals, his place at the head of the leaderboard is under increasing threat from the growing contingent of Spain players in the top ten.
The Portugal captain started his side's last-eight victory against the Czech Republic with David Silva for close company. Though team-mate Pepe has since usurped the playmaker in second spot courtesy of his Index-topping rating in the Selecção's 1-0 victory, Spain's dominant display in eliminating France means the number of Vicente del Bosque's men in the upper echelons has increased from three to five.
Ronaldo's joint-leading third goal of the tournament at the National Stadium Warsaw was sufficient to keep him in situ atop the charts with a cumulative rating of 9.68, ahead of Real Madrid CF club-mate Pepe, who rises 12 places into second.
The centre-back, one of five 'captains' in Paulo Bento's squad, trailed only João Moutinho in the pass completion stakes against the Czechs with an 81% success rate. A factor in shaping his overall mark of 9.61 has been his anticipation and reading of the game – he has prevented an opposition pass from reaching its intended target 50 times in four outings.
One of the biggest climbers, however, is Xabi Alonso, another Madrid player. The midfielder, up from 26th, marked his 100th international appearance in style with both goals in Spain's 2-0 defeat of France, his second, from the spot, being the 30-year-old's third shot on target from four attempts. A key component in how the holders execute their famed tika-taka approach, he swelled his number of completed passes to 318 with a match-high 99 against Les Bleus.
Claudio Marchisio, one only two players to have taken the game-by-game honours in the Castrol EDGE Index more than once at UEFA EURO 2012, completes the top three, having been fifth at kick-off. The Italy man, though not the top-ranked performer in the Azzurri's penalty shoot-out triumph over England, registered a match score of 9.24 such was the standard of Cesare Prandelli's side's performance in Kyiv.
Marchisio is followed by three of Alonso's team-mates, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué and Silva, who falls from second to sixth. Piqué is part of a Spain rearguard which has not conceded a goal since the 61st minute of La Roja's opening draw with Italy. Like Pepe, the centre-back has excelled in his reading of the game, intercepting/stopping a pass on 51 occasions.
Portugal's Fábio Coentrão, whose ten crosses attempted is the most of any full-back in Poland and Ukraine, Sergio Ramos and Michal Kadlec make up the top ten.
Key facts so far
0 – Attempts on target by the Czech Republic in their 1-0 quarter-final loss to Portugal.
1 – The England-Italy match was the first game of the finals to be goalless after 90 minutes.
4 – Portugal have been unchanged for all of their UEFA EURO 2012 fixtures.
5 – Against Greece, Germany's Mesut Özil became the fifth player to provide two assists in the same game at this tournament, emulating Andrey Arshavin (Russia v Czech Republic), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Netherlands v Germany), Karim Benzema (Ukraine v France) and David Silva (Spain v Republic of Ireland).
29 – Shots on goal at these finals by Cristiano Ronaldo, the most by a player at any EURO. The Portugal captain overtook Roman Pavlyuchenko's total of 28, set four years ago, during his side's victory against the Czech Republic.
371 – Xavi Hernandez leads the way in terms of passes completed. His total of 89 in the last-eight encounter with France was bettered only by Xabi Alonso.
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