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EURO 2008 Team of the Tournament

Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernández and David Villa are part of a six-strong Spain contingent in the 2008 select XI.

David Villa was included in the UEFA EURO 2008 Team of the Tournament
David Villa was included in the UEFA EURO 2008 Team of the Tournament Bongarts/Getty Images

GOALKEEPER

Iker Casillas (Spain)
The outstanding Real Madrid and Spain servant, who made his international debut in 2000, inherited the captain's armband prior to the tournament. Kept clean sheets in the quarter-finals – when he also saved two penalties in the shoot-out against Italy – last four and final. Was still a mainstay for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012 triumphs, finishing his international career with 167 caps. Left Madrid in 2015 after 16 seasons, having won the UEFA Champions League three times and five Liga titles. Still starring for Porto.

Iker Cassilas kept clean sheets in Spain’s last three games at UEFA EURO 2008
Iker Cassilas kept clean sheets in Spain’s last three games at UEFA EURO 2008©Bongarts/Getty Images

DEFENDERS

Philipp Lahm (Germany)
One of the best attacking full-backs of his generation, Lahm excelled for Germany for a decade. Scored the first goal of the 2006 World Cup and fared even better two years later as his 90th-minute winner against Turkey sent Joachim Löw's tyros into the final. Then 26, the Bayern man became his country's youngest captain in 2010 and, four years later, led his country to World Cup glory. In 15 years at Bayern he won the 2013 UEFA Champions League and eight Bundesliga titles, completing the double six times.

Philipp Lahm’s late winner sent Germany to the UEFA EURO 2008 final
Philipp Lahm’s late winner sent Germany to the UEFA EURO 2008 final©Getty Images

Carles Puyol (Spain)
The sleek Spain side that followed up victory at UEFA EURO 2008 by clinching the 2010 World Cup had a steely element, epitomised by the rugged Puyol. Here he featured in five of Spain's six matches, helping Luis Aragonés' men keep clean sheets in their last three games – against Italy, Russia and Germany. The shaggy-haired centre-back, who won 100 caps, was a one-club man. Honours at Barcelona included three UEFA Champions League triumphs and six Liga titles.

Carlos Marchena (Spain)
A 1999 Under-20 World Cup winner alongside Casillas and Xavi Hernández, Marchena joined them in this triumphant campaign. Dovetailed perfectly with Puyol in the centre of defence, often man-marking the opposition's main striker while his partner mopped up around him. Went on to set a world record of 50 international matches unbeaten before losing his spot to Gerard Piqué. The 2010 World Cup winner, who scooped 69 caps, was a Sevilla youth-team graduate but spent most of his career at Valencia, claiming a UEFA Cup and two Liga titles.

Spain’s Carles Puyol formed a dominant partnership with Carlos Marchena at UEFA EURO 2008
Spain’s Carles Puyol formed a dominant partnership with Carlos Marchena at UEFA EURO 2008©Getty Images

Yuri Zhirkov (Russia)
Zhirkov's dynamic performances at left-back were pivotal in Russia's run to the semi-finals. Scored in CSKA Moskva's 2005 UEFA Cup final triumph then ten days later in the Russian Cup final when playing as a winger. Became Russia's most expensive player when he joined Chelsea for a reported €18m in 2009 but returned home with Anzhi two years later. Followed up his two domestic titles and four Russian Cups at CSKA with one each at Zenit, where he is still playing.

Luka Modrić was the key component of an eye-catching Croatia side at UEFA EURO 2008
Luka Modrić was the key component of an eye-catching Croatia side at UEFA EURO 2008©Getty Images

MIDFIELDERS

Luka Modrić (Croatia)
The diminutive playmaker, who had just sealed a move from Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham, illuminated the finals with skilful runs and shrewd passes, and scored the tournament's opening goal against Austria. Moved to Real Madrid in 2012, winning the UEFA Champions League four times in six years. Voted best player as Croatia reached the final at the World Cup in 2018, capping that year with the Ballon d’Or, and is closing in on Darijo Srna’s appearance record for his country.

Marcos Senna (Spain)
The Brazilian-born former Corinthians midfielder made his international debut in March 2006 off the back of several superb performances in Villarreal’s charge to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Started the first two matches at the 2006 World Cup but truly established himself here as a powerful running ball-winner with a shrewd tactical sense. Spent 11 years with the Yellow Submarine in all but his only honour in Europe came in this tournament, where he won five of his 28 caps.

Xavi Hernández (Spain)
Joined Barcelona aged 11, picked up his first league title in 1999 and debuted for Spain in 2000, but his talents really came to the fore at the 2006 World Cup. His intelligent, simple use of the ball contributed immensely to the success enjoyed by Barcelona and Spain and he was named Player of the Tournament here. Was the linchpin as Spain won the 2010 World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012, where he laid on two goals in the final. Barça's record appearance maker won the UEFA Champions League four times and Spanish title on eight occasions. Now coach at Al Saad.

Hamit Altıntop epitomised Turkey’s never-say-die spirit at UEFA EURO 2008
Hamit Altıntop epitomised Turkey’s never-say-die spirit at UEFA EURO 2008©Getty Images

Hamit Altıntop (Turkey)
Fatih Terim's decision to switch Altıntop from right-back to a marauding midfield role two matches into UEFA EURO 2008 was arguably the turning point in Turkey's campaign. Balanced, skilful and capable of unsettling a defence with a visionary pass or penetrating dribble, he set up three goals in the final quarter of an hour to inspire a stunning turnaround against the Czech Republic. Capped 82 times, the highlights of his club career were two domestic doubles with Bayern though he also won titles at Real Madrid and Galatasaray.

Andrey Arshavin was unstoppable as Russia swept aside Sweden and the Netherlands
Andrey Arshavin was unstoppable as Russia swept aside Sweden and the Netherlands©Getty Images

FORWARDS

Andrey Arshavin (Russia)
Such was his importance that Guus Hiddink selected Arshavin despite the diminutive forward being banned for the first two matches. Having inspired Zenit to UEFA Cup glory a month earlier, he set up one and scored another in a victory against Sweden before a mesmerising quarter-final display against the Netherlands, where he struck again and teed up two more. Six months later he was snapped up by Arsenal but returned to Zenit to win a third Russian title in 2015. Scored 17 times in 75 games for Russia.

David Villa (Spain)The supreme poacher, who made his debut for the Roja in 2005, snaffled a hat-trick against Russia and finished as the tournament's top scorer with four goals, despite missing the final through injury. He hit five in the 2010 World Cup triumph and became Spain's all-time top scorer in March 2011, ending his international career six years later with 59 goals in 98 games. A Copa del Rey winner with Zaragoza and Valencia, he scooped the Spanish title with both Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, and the UEFA Champions League in 2011.

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