Euro 2008 provided a showcase for Europe's top talent to display their skills. Over the course of the event, reputations were made or broken.
Spain's surge to the title means it is well represented in our Euro 2008 XI, with six players making the cut. The remainder is split widely, with finalists Germany, semifinalists Turkey and Russia, and Italy and Croatia each having one player selected.
Several Dutch players came close to being chosen due to their performances in Group C. But the team's capitulation against Russia caused several of Holland's contenders to be overtaken.
Iker Casillas, Spain. Casillas's contribution may not have been as spectacular as that of Italy's Gianluigi Buffon or Holland's Edwin van der Sar. However, the way he kept a cool head through the knockout stages was vital in helping Spain clinch the title. His efforts in the quarterfinal penalty shootout were memorable, and his leadership was exceptional.
Near misses: Gianluigi Buffon, Italy; Edwin van der Sar, Holland.
Sergio Ramos, Spain. His feud with coach Luis Aragones meant his spot in the team was always in danger. But in the end, despite his misgivings about the player's personality, Aragones simply could not bring himself to drop Ramos. Physically strong and capable of getting forward with pace and purpose, Ramos was influential and, apart from a clumsy mishap in the final, reasonably error-free.
Daniel Pranjic, Croatia. If you want a left back that can get forward and score goals, pick Germany's Philipp Lahm. If you want one that can get forward and defend, pick Pranjic. Pranjic was in superb form for Croatia and deserved to go deeper into the tournament.
Carles Puyol, Spain. Everyone knew that the Spanish attack was fluid and dangerous, but the defense was a major concern going into the tournament. Puyol has his limitations, but he held things together effectively and must take much of the credit for his team having conceded only three goals.
Giorgio Chiellini, Italy. Chiellini got his chance after Marco Materazzi's horror show against Holland and immediately added some steel to the Italian backline. He was Italy's best player in the quarterfinal against Spain and was one of the few Italians to have bettered his reputation during the tournament.
Near misses: Philipp Lahm, Germany; Andre Ooijer, Holland.
Marcos Senna, Spain. Senna found a new lease on life the past two seasons and he was the unsung hero of the Spanish triumph. He shut down Andrei Arshavin in the semifinal, and his holding work allowed Spain's attacking midfielders license to wreak havoc.
Andrei Arshavin, Russia. Arshavin was suspended for the first two games, but returned to mastermind a victory over Sweden to put Russia into the quarters. His performance against Holland was even better, when he ran the show in a 3-1 extra-time victory and showed why many of Europe's biggest clubs are taking a close look.
Michael Ballack, Germany. Ballack's dismal record in major finals continued, but Germany would not have made it to Sunday's showdown if it wasn't for his influence in midfield. His blistering free kick against Austria was one of the goals of the tournament and he was crucial in seeing off Portugal in the quarters.
Andres Iniesta, Spain. Spain had so many quality midfielders to choose from, but Iniesta was the most consistent overall. His vision and imagination complemented perfectly with Fernando Torres and David Silva and kept the Spanish "total football" machine cruising along.
Arda Turan, Turkey. The comeback kings of Turkey had much reason to thank Turan. He grabbed the dramatic injury-time winner against Switzerland and started the remarkable fight back against the Czech Republic. Arsenal is said to be interested, but after Turan's efforts in the tournament, may face competition for his signature.
Near misses: Luka Modric, Croatia; David Silva, Spain; Cesc Fabregas, Spain; Xavi Hernandez, Spain; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany; Wesley Sneijder, Holland; Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal.
David Villa, Spain. Villa was the man who got the Spanish juggernaut rolling with his devastating displays in Group D. He finished the tournament as top scorer with four goals and barely made a wrong move during his time on the field. The fact that he was mobbed by his teammates at the end of the final spoke volumes for how highly his colleagues rated his impact.
Near misses: Fernando Torres, Spain; Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Holland; Semih Senturk, Turkey.