Image 1 of 6: Netherlands: Despite fresh World Cup success, the Euro total football performance was a total disaster. 3 losses gave the Dutch their worst record in history; van Persie couldn't deliver on his APL performances. Star status combined with poor coach selections interfered with team cohesion. Cracks in the game were overlooked during friendlies.
Image 1 of 6: Russia: A 3-0 win against Italy in a friendly prior to the Euros combined with a dramatic sweeping victory in their first match against the Czechs left anything looking possible. However, a blistering start wasn't enough. And, only drawing with Poland and the disappointing loss to the Greek underdogs was enough to send them home packing.
Image 1 of 6: The Boys in Green came to the Euros with their Irish gusto, and a veteran coach. What they lacked in skill they seemed happy to make up for in sheer grit. But this could not take them past the Big Boys (Spain & Italy). They conceded 9 goals in a defensive shambolic display. Poor quality was the order of play across the board from players to subs.
Image 1 of 6: German classic brute lifted by Loew finesse has gone from strength to strength. Die Mannschaft are on course for a 4th Euro title, but in a dramatic tournament all bets are on. The team, buoyed by 3 wins, should capitalize on a healthy mix of players to break a bad run that cost them recent championships, despite damaged Bayern Munich morale.
Image 1 of 6: No one, not even the Czechs, saw the CR getting this far along. They climbed back from the pits to turn around their pitiful start 1-4 down to Russia. They did enough to take Greece 2-1, then overcame hosting Poland 1-0 to clinch their place in the QF, topping their group. Will their winning mentality get them a repeat achievement from Euro '96?
Image 1 of 6: Greece have impressed all in the tournament, drawing with Poland the host nation 1-1, while 1 player down much of the match. They lost against the Czechs 2-1, planting doubts for their qualification. They redeemed themselves against Russia with a winning goal in a disciplined display. The 2004 winners have revived hopes that are now pegged high.
Euro 2012 has dished up one thrilling moment after another in the course of a riveting group stage.
There were teams that surprised us with their dramatic displays, and others that went short or below par. The compelling tournament so far has kept us on our toes - and it's still anybody's title for the taking.
Co-hosts Poland and the Ukraine both failed to survive the group stage, though still left us with commedable performances.
All groups face tough matches in the upcoming games. Before plunging ahead with the Euro Championships Quarter Finals tonight, we take a look back upon the national teams best and worst performances. Here are the tops and the flops.
While most of the drama and intrigue has stayed on the pitch, substantial talk and betting has followed the action off the sidelines. For the upcoming Quarter Final match between Germany and Greece, we'll leave you with this thought that has been doing the rounds. Given the state of the respective economies at play: will Germany need to loan out half its players to Greece?
Who do you see going through from the Quarter Finals this weekend? Stay tuned to Al Bawaba