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The first quarter-final at UEFA EURO 2008™ brings together two teams with contrasting records in recent UEFA European Championships. Portugal have not failed to reach at least the semi-final stage in the last two tournaments while this is the first time Germany have advanced beyond the group stage since they were crowned continental champions for the third time in 1996.
• Portugal, in the last eight for the fourth successive tournament, progressed to this stage with comparative ease, winning their first two games in Group A. They beat Turkey 2-0 on the opening day with goals from Pepe and Raul Meireles and followed that with a 3-1 victory against the Czech Republic in Geneva. After Deco and Libor Sionko had traded first-half goals, Luiz Felipe Scolari's men took charge after the break when Cristiano Ronaldo (63) and Ricardo Quaresma (90+1) found the net.
• It was a much-changed Portugal side – only three players keeping their places – that then dropped their first points in the third game, losing 2-0 to co-hosts Switzerland with Hakan Yakin scoring twice in the second half.
• Germany had more of a struggle to get out of Group B. Polish-born Lukas Podolski scored twice in a 2-0 victory against Poland in Klagenfurt in the first round of matches but a 2-1 defeat by Croatia in the same venue put the Mannschaft's qualifying hopes in jeopardy, Podolski's third goal of the tournament (79) little consolation after Darijo Srna and Ivica Olić had struck for Croatia.
• There was more bad news for coach Joachim Löw as Bastian Schweinsteiger was sent off for retaliation in added time. He missed the final game against Austria in Vienna when a 1-0 win – secured by Michael Ballack's stunning free-kick four minutes after half-time – put Germany through in second place behind Croatia.
• Germany have had the better of the 15 meetings between these two sides with seven victories compared to Portugal's three and five draws.
• The teams have also played twice before at the UEFA European Championship, sharing a goalless draw in their first round of fixtures in the group stage in 1984 – although it was Portugal who progressed to the semi-finals, with the then holders West Germany finishing third in the section.
• Portugal also had the upper hand at UEFA EURO 2000™, running out 3-0 winners in Rotterdam thanks to Sérgio Conceição's hat-trick. It completed a miserable tournament for Germany and meant they finished bottom of the group with just a single point.
• The teams last met at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in the match for third place. Germany won 3-1 with all the goals coming in the second half. Schweinsteiger (56, 78) and a Petit own goal (60) gave Germany a three-goal lead before a late Nuno Gomes consolation (88).
• The teams that night were:
Germany: Oliver Kahn, Marcell Jansen, Sebastian Kehl, Jens Nowotny, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Thomas Hitzlsperger), Torsten Frings, Miroslav Klose (Oliver Neuville), Philipp Lahm, Bernd Schneider, Lukas Podolski (Mike Hanke), Christoph Metzelder.
Portugal: Ricardo, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Costa, Fernando Meira, Costinha (Petit), Pauleta (Luís Figo), Simão, Nuno Valente (Nuno Gomes), Cristiano Ronaldo, Maniche, Deco.
• Germany won four of the first five meetings between the sides with the other drawn. The first contest came in February 1936 friendly in Lisbon, Germany triumphing 3-1.
• Scolari led his home nation Brazil to the World Cup final in 2002, where Germany were the opposition. Two goals by Ronaldo in the space of 12 second-half minutes gave the South American side their fifth crown.
• After this tournament Scolari will take charge of Chelsea FC where one of his players will be the Germany captain Ballack. Ballack is a team-mate of Portugal defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira at Stamford Bridge, with Bosingwa set to move to west London after UEFA EURO 2008™.
• Ballack will not be happy to cross swords with Ronaldo again. The Portugal winger's 42 goals in an explosive season went a long way to helping Manchester United FC to victory in both the UEFA Champions League and Premier League, with Chelsea finishing as runners-up in each. Another Portugal winger, Nani, is also on the books at Old Trafford.
• Portugal striker Hugo Almeida has spent the past two seasons at Werder Bremen and in his first year there, when he was on loan, played alongside Miroslav Klose. Other team-mates include Germany internationals Per Mertesacker, Torsten Frings, Clemens Fritz and Tim Borowski, although the latter will join FC Bayern München this summer.
• Central defenders Pepe (Portugal) and Christoph Metzelder (Germany) are club colleagues at Real Madrid CF. Both joined the Spanish giants last summer.
• Portugal defender Fernando Meira captained VfB Stuttgart to the Bundesliga title in 2006/07 where his team-mates included Thomas Hitzlsperger and Mario Gómez.
• Germany were last European champions in 1996 having earlier lifted the continental crown as West Germany in 1972 and 1980. Runners-up in 1976 and 1992, they have appeared in every edition of the UEFA European Championship since the inception of the final round in 1980.
• Portugal's best performance in four previous appearances came at UEFA EURO 2004™, where they finished runners-up to Greece. In 2000 they lost to eventual-winners France in the semi-final and have never once failed to advance from the first round, present tournament included. They also reached the quarter-finals at EURO '96™.
• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the fourth edition that features a quarter-final phase in the final tournament. There were no quarter-finals in the 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 editions of the competition, with the teams going straight from the group stage into the semi-finals.
• The winners of this tie will meet the winners of the quarter-final between the top team from Group B, Croatia, and Group A runners-up Turkey in the first semi-final, also at St. Jakob-Park, on Wednesday 25 June.
• The winners of that game will be designated as the home team for the final at Vienna's Ernst-Happel-Stadion on 29 June.
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