With the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 now complete, we inspect your Hot or Not ratings.
Last Updated: 25/06/08 10:56am
With the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 done and dusted, we have inspected your Player Ratings to hail who's hot and shame who's not in Austria and Switzerland.
Andrei Arshavin is the name on the lips of those that give two hoots about this summer's European Championship after the baby-faced Russian toyed and teased the Dutch, while one or two household names failed to make the cut following impressive showings from a number of the supposed underdogs.
Arshavin's master-class was celebrated by you after he landed an average rating of 9.4, while his heroics did not go unnoticed by football editor Mark Buckingham - who still managed to shroud the gifted Zenit St Petersburg schemer in words of acclaim despite reportedly huffy puffy prep for his looming 10km charity run - labelling his performance 'virtuoso' and 'sensational'.
With twinkle toes Arshavin, 27, allowed to express himself in a freely floating role, two of his Russian compatriots earn spots in our, please do not touch, piping hot XI via classical renditions from defender Yuri Zhirkov, who helped keep Holland at bay for the best part of 120 minutes, and Roman Pavlyuchenko - who broke the deadlock.
Zhirkov was not only shrewd in defence, but zealous when charging forward to secure a score of 7.7 from you, while Pavlyuchenko's ability to prove a tricky customer for the Holland back-line saw the forward bag an excellent user mark of 8.4 to line up as one half of our attacking duo.
Pavlyuchenko is joined up front by Turk Semih Senturk after his lasting impression from the substitutes' bench as he entered the fray to grab the most dramatic of equalisers and take the encounter to penalties, while Tuncay Sanli operates on the right wing after his tireless outing against Croatia.
In between the sticks, Iker Casillas is the undisputed choice following his heroics versus world champions Italy. The dexterous Real Madrid shot-stopper received an arguably stingy eight from reporter Nick Hext, despite pulling off a cracking save to deny Mauro Camoranesi and then etching his name on Spain's heroes list courtesy of a double dose of spot-kick mastery, however, I feel, your rating of 8.6 closer matches his deserved tally.
Our rugged but technically terrific back-line centralises around Italy's gritty Giorgio Chiellini who snuffed out Spain's desire to actually score for a full two hours before the fixture went to penalties, where Roberto Donadoni's men, according to some (me), were dished out a sloppy helping of just desserts as the Spanish triumphed via Cesc Fabregas' ability to hold his nerve - take note England.
Before our analysis of Cesc, it makes logical sense to mention, then dissect, the performances of Germany's Philipp Lahm, who so rarely puts a foot wrong and offers real purpose when bombing forward, and attacking wing-back Zhirkov.
Senor Fabregas, who must surely have done enough to earn a starting role in Spain's semi-final fixture versus Russia, trotted from the bench to replace Xavi and deliver a number of cutting passes before keeping his head to fire home the spot-kick winner for his country, landing a score of 8.4 from yourselves and a surprising seven from the aforementioned Hext, despite our journalist describing the Arsenal midfielder as a 'rare ray of sunshine'.
Accompanying the 21-year-old wizard is powerhouse Michael Ballack after the Chelsea man was rewarded an eight of 10 from yours truly and an 8.4 from our viewers following his bossy display in the heart of Joachim Low's well-oiled German machine - who will take on the depleted Turks in their last-four fixture on Wednesday.
Finally, completing our XI is Bastian Schweinsteiger, not because of his stunning lady partner, but because his display against Portugal was nothing short of superb after he opened the scoring and then laid on two goals for his team-mates, to secure a deserved nine from us and an 8.7 from you.
There were of course a few of sinners and, after some beady-eyed research, I managed to identify this round's uncool customers as Italy's Alberto Aquilani, who rated a painful three from scribe Hext and a 4.2 from you, and Holland substitute Johnny Heitinga, who matched Aquilani with a despairingly low score of 4.2 (ouch).
As has been the structure of our 'Hot or Not' feature, we have been happy to acknowledge where glaring disagreements took place. It seems you and reporter Ben Collins differed in your takes on Turkey goalkeeper Recber Rustu's Jekyll & Hyde performance which saw him at fault for Croatia's opener but win for his country via a shoot-out save - he was handed a seven from Mr Collins but a five by you.
All in all, viewers' stomachs continued to rumble at the scrummy lure of attacking flair, while marks for sturdy centre-backs were hard to come by. Euro 2008 has thrown up some cracking surprises to date, drawing attention to some of the players we may not have thought would make an impact prior to the tournament. But will this continue to be the case? And what of our starting XI? Have we hit the nail on the head with our choices or have we made a number of criminal faux pas?
You can rate players' performances after every match at Euro 2008 and it will be possible to interact with our match coverage throughout the tournament. We will also continue to observe the Hot or Not ratings after every round of games.