Euro 2016 Power Rankings: Final 16 teams in France
The dramatic end to the group stage couldn’t disguise the fact that, for the most part, this has been a slightly disappointing opening to the tournament, yielding just 1.92 goals per game and precious few games of real quality. No side won all three group games, while many of the less-fancied sides troubled their supposed betters.
The suggestion is that this is a very open tournament, although there remains the possibility that one of the top sides will suddenly click into gear and surge through to success on July 10.
The knockout bracket has yielded an unbalanced final 16, with powers France, Germany, Spain, Italy and England on one half, while Belgium and Portugal benefited from underperforming in the group stage by being given a more favorable rout to navigate on the road to the Stade de France.
Here is how the remaining teams stack up (and how the eliminated teams rank based on their showing):
Through qualifying the problem was a lack of rhythm. The performance against Turkey suggested that has returned, but sloppiness contributed to the downfall against Croatia, which resulted in a brutal last-16 draw against Italy.
Took Belgium apart and had enough to find a late winner against Sweden. Tactically impressive but lack central creativity. The Azzurri's biggest problem is a draw that pits them against Spain.
Has arguably the best midfield in the tournament ,and, while there are legitimate doubts about Mario Mandzukic’s capabilities, the biggest problems seem off the field. Beating Spain showed it can mix it with the best, and it's in the easier half of the draw. If Luka Modric returns to fitness and Croatia gets by Ronaldo & Co., look out.
Wrangling continues between squad and coach and the Red Devils still seem less than the sum of their parts, but they’re very good parts.
Produced a performance of great tactical acuity to frustrate Germany and didn’t concede a goal in the group stage. Robert Lewandowski hasn’t fired yet, but his partnership with Arkadiusz Milik should be dangerous; plus, Poland is in the easier half of the draw.
Took full advantage of a demoralized Russia en route to winning Group B. Tactically well set up but weirdly lacking in ambition against England.
A little unfortunate to lose to Wales, had the quality through Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamsik to pick off Russia and defended doggedly against England. Just beat Germany prior to the competition and won't be awed by the reigning World Cup champions.
A glorious finale to the group stage carried the Irisih through when they looked to have blown it by letting a lead slip in the opener against Sweden. Ireland is hard-working and well-organized, and Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady give it enough creativity to be a threat.
The creative players aren’t quite firing but defensive solidity got them through.
Technically adept but lacked a little in incisiveness. Battled gamely after being reduced to 10 men early against Switzerland and very nearly held France.
Although it held Portugal, it only really got going in the second half of the final game, the 2-1 defeat to Iceland, although it could easily have gotten more out of that game. Played scratchily and never got the best out of David Alaba.
Turned in a remarkable comeback to get the draw against Croatia but otherwise offered little in a disappointing showing.
A dire tournament for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to say farewell. It didn’t manage a shot on target until five minutes into its final group game. Only got a point because Ireland panicked having taken the lead.
Desperately poor from the offset. The loss of three key midfielders sapped the life from an aging side that needs rejuvenation before hosting the World Cup in two years.
Battled hard in the first game but lacked ambition and cutting edge. The decision to omit Nicolae Stanciu for the second game, against Switzerland, and then settle for a draw looked odd at the time and worse in retrospect.
Flickered at times in defeat to Germany, but a defeat to Northern Ireland made Ukraine the first side to be eliminated.