Highest Euro 2012 Performer: Cristiano Ronaldo

As the end of Euro 2012 approaches, we’ve all had a good chance to evaluate each player’s performance throughout the competition.

Using the latest tracking technology to analyse and rank individual displays, the Castrol EDGE Index charts a player’s every pass, save, shot and tackle to measure the impact of such actions on their side’s ability to score or concede a goal. Here are the current top 5 players based on this index.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is still the man to catch at the summit of the Castrol EDGE Index following the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals, however his place at the head of the leaderboard is under increasing threat from the growing contingent of Spain players in the top ten.

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

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In Portugal’s opening match, Ronaldo dazzled Germany defender Boateng several times, and provided his side’s main threat with his pace and power, firing four shots on target.

In the second group fixture his poor luck continued, Denmark struggled to deal with Ronaldo’s pace, but the forward missed a couple of golden chances to put the game to bed.

This match was quickly put behind him, Ronny received the Carlsberg man of the match against  Holland, scoring both Portugal goals and threatening throughout the crucial 2-1 win.

During the quarter final he ran the Czechs ragged, hitting the post twice and heading an excellent winner to secure Portugal’s passage to the semi-finals.

2. Pepe

Ronaldo’s Portugal team-mate Pepe currently sits in second spot courtesy of his Index-topping rating in the Selecção’s 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic.

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. His QF performance saw him rise 12 places into second place.

In Portugal’s opening game, against Germany, Pepe was strong in the tackle and he started many of his side’s attacks, he even came close to opening the scoring, when his first-half shot struck the bar and bounced down onto the line.

Against Denmark the central defender was better with the ball than without. He made a real impact in attack, bringing the ball out of defence well and heading the opener.

He then held out expertly against a potent Dutch attacking line as Portugal secured a 2-1 Group B win to progress to the quarter-finals.

During the QF’s, he provided a rock-solid presence at the back. Portugal held the Czech Republic at bay to book a semi-final spot thanks to a 1-0 win.

3. Claudio Marchisio

Claudio Marchisio, completes the top three, having been fifth before kick-off against England. The Italy man, though not the top-ranked performer in the Azzurri’s penalty shoot-out triumph, registered a match score of 9.24 such was the standard of Cesare Prandelli’s side’s performance in Kyiv.

Marchisio impressed as Italy earned a 1-1 draw with reigning champions Spain. He often stole possession for his side and had several dangerous shots on goal.

He then had a storming game against Croatia, helping out in defence and contributing to most attacks. Only Pletikosa’s heroics prevented him scoring.

This impressive form continued against Ireland in the final group C fixture. Marchisio put in an energetic performance as Italy secured a 2-0 win to progress to the quarter-finals.

Against England, he helped Italy gain and control possession as they dominated the 0-0 quarter-final draw.

4. Xabi Alonso

One of the biggest climbers, following the quarter finals. Xabi Alonso moved up from 26th as he 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.

Alonso started well in Spain’s opening fixture. He played a key part of an excellent passing performance in midfield during a 1-1 draw with Italy.

The Real Madrid man kept Spain ticking, against Ireland, with his metronomic passing in the centre, creating numerous chances and threatened with some long-range efforts.

He then helped his team dominate possession in midfield as they beat Croatia 1-0 to qualify top of Group C.

Against France, Alonso headed the opener and converted a penalty as Spain won 2-0 to reach the UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final.

5. Andres Iniesta

Iniesta currently occupies 5th place in the Castrol EDGE index rankings.

Against Italy he had an excellent game against Italy, providing forward thrust and coming close to a goal on several occasions.

He then produced another outstanding performance against the Irish. The midfielder was at the heart of everything, going close numerous times. His shot fell to Silva to double the lead.

During Spain’s final group C fixture, Iniesta remained creative and incisive. He set up the only goal as Spain beat Croatia 1-0 to qualify top of Group C.

Against the French, he failed to have the same impact as in previous games. Regardless, Spain won 2-0 to reach the semi-final stage.

Do you agree with these rankings? Please feel free to rate and comment on this article.

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