Toni Kroos penned an emotional farewell after his footballing career was ended by Germany's quarter-final elimination at Euro 2024.

The veteran midfielder confirmed earlier this year that this season would be his last, signing off from club football with Champions League and LaLiga glory for Real Madrid.

Julian Nagelsmann managed to convince Kroos out of international retirement for the European Championship on home soil, where Germany lost 2-1 in extra time on Friday against Spain in the last eight.

The 34-year-old cut an understandably emotional figure after the full-time whistle, taking to Instagram on Sunday to pay a final goodbye.

"So that's it. But before I take a break and at least try to realise what happened over the last 17 years, I don't want to miss the opportunity to say thank you to everyone for accepting me as how and who I am," Kroos wrote on social media. 

"Thanks to all my fans around the world for your unconditional support. Thanks to all my clubs and coaches for believing in me. Thanks to all my team-mates for making me feel welcome anytime.

"Thanks to my friends for always being honest with me no matter how successful I became. Thanks to my agents who became friends. Thanks to my parents for the best possible preparation to realise my dream.

"Thanks to my brother for always being my number one fan. Thanks to my kids for being my biggest motivation to bring the best out of me – nothing better to see your kids being proud of daddy.

"Thanks to my beautiful wife for being you. Never change. This success wouldn't have been possible without you. It's ours!

"And last but not least: Thank you football! You beautiful game. And... you're welcome! Over and out."

Having defeated Germany in the last eight, Spain face France in the semi-finals on Tuesday, a day before the Netherlands meet England for a place in the final on July 14.

Euro 2024 action returned on Friday, as the first two teams booked their places in the semi-finals.

Spain scored a last-gasp goal to knock hosts Germany out of the tournament thanks to their 2-1 win. Meanwhile, France were perfect from the spot in their shootout win over Portugal after a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes.

Two more ties were on offer on Saturday as Switzerland and England face off before the Netherlands and Turkiye vie for the final spot.

But what about the action online? 

Here is the best of the social media posts from Friday and Saturday at Euro 2024.

Saying goodbye to a legend

Germany suffered heartbreak as they became the first host nation to exit the tournament at the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

But their defeat also meant the end to a true footballing great's career. 

Toni Kroos played his final game on Friday, with the official Euro 2024 X account sharing their appreciation for the midfielder.

Celebrations on and off the pitch

While Mikel Merino's 119th-minute goal sent Spain fans everywhere into raptures, that was not the only celebration going on in La Roja's camp on Friday.

Dani Vivian celebrated his 25th birthday with the team earlier in the day, with everyone sharing their well-wishes.

All in all, not a bad way to spend your birthday.

Les Bleus' cheers ring out

While France v Portugal did not quite live up to some of the expectations placed upon it as the teams played out a goalless draw after extra time.

But Didier Deschamps' men kept their composure from the spot, scoring all five of their penalties in the shootout to book a place in the next round.

And they gave fans a glimpse of the players' reactions as they made their way into the changing rooms post-match. 

Southgate hits landmark

It is a big day for England on the pitch as they bid to reach the European Championships semi-finals for the second consecutive edition.

And it's a milestone match for Gareth Southgate, who is taking charge of his 100th match.

Three Lions fans will be wishing he can mark that landmark with a special win.

The Dutch arrive

It has been a sight to behold throughout the tournament when the Dutch fans descend on a new city before their matches in a sea of orange.

While they have drawn the eye with their orange bus and fan parades in the past, their new modes of transport were spotted getting to Berlin ahead of their match against Turkiye. 

A sea of red

The fans were also out in force for Switzerland as they aim to book their place in the semi-final of the Euros for the first time in their history.

And, painted red, they were a united front as they arrived in Dusseldorf, with the hopes of another big result on their minds. 

Spain have confirmed that Pedri will miss the rest of Euro 2024 after suffering a 'grade two knee sprain' in Friday's quarter-final victory over Germany.

Pedri had to be substituted after just eight minutes in the clash in Stuttgart following a heavy tackle from Toni Kroos.

Spain won 2-1 after extra-time thanks to Mikel Merino's late strike and will face France in the semi-finals in Munich next Tuesday. 

In a statement post on X, it read: "The medical tests carried out have determined that Pedri González suffers a grade 2 internal lateral sprain in his left knee.

"The Canarian player will remain in Germany until the end of Euro 2024."

Kroos, who called time on his football career following Germany's defeat, sent his best wishes to the Barcelona midfielder in an emotional farewell post. 

"Get better soon Pedri. Obviously, it was not my intention to cause any damage," Kroos posted on Instagram.

"Wishing you a speedy recovery and all the best. You are a great player."

Luis de la Fuente hailed his Spain side as an "example for the country" after their last-gasp win over hosts Germany in the Euro 2024 quarter-final.

La Roja came out on top with a 2-1 victory in Stuttgart thanks to Mikel Merino's 119th-minute winner in extra time on Friday.

Dani Olmo had given Spain the lead in the second half, and looked to have scored the match-winner until Florian Wirtz equalised at the end of normal time.

After their last-gasp win, De la Fuente was full of praise for the fighting spirit his side showed to get the result.

"I'm proud of this group of players, such a committed group of players, who are an example for our country, for our society, and for any sportsmen and women who want to be competitive and want to improve every day in order to try and be a bit better every day," De la Fuente said.

"Our team has heart, and I know them; they have ambition, and they are eager to be better every day. They never tire of improving, and I am proud to coach them."

Spain and Germany had perhaps been the tournament's standout performers in the first four rounds of matches, and the match lived up to its billing.

De la Fuente's side have now won all five of their matches at Euro 2024 and will play France for a place in the final on Tuesday.

"We will see how far we can get, but I'm really proud of the example that this team is giving out in terms of companionship and values and so on, and this is what I value the most, apart from the quality of my players," he added.

"We are happy, but we know that tomorrow is a different day, and tomorrow it's another game already. So yes, we are happy, but the euphoria is very much under control."

Two nations are now just 90 minutes away from securing a place in the Euro 2024 final following Friday's action.

Spain were the first to secure their place in the last four of the tournament, as Germany became the first hosts of a European Championship to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage. 

Later on, France needed penalties to edge past Portugal, and they will meet Luis de la Fuente's side in Munich. 

After another enthralling day of knockout football, we take a deep dive into the best statistics from the day.

 

Spain 2-1 Germany (AET): Merino's late, late show keeps Spain perfect

Mikel Merino proved to be the hero for Spain as his first international goal got them over the line.

The Real Sociedad midfielder broke German hearts, netting the third-latest winning goal in a European Championship match (118:52), after Michel Platini for France v Portugal at Euro 1984 (118:53) and Artem Dovbyk for Ukraine v Sweden at Euro 2020 (120:36).

While Merino grabbed the headlines, the influential performance of Dani Olmo should not be overlooked. 

Olmo replaced Pedri early on in Stuttgart, making his mark in the 51st minute as he steered the ball home after being set up by Lamine Yamal, who became the first teenager to record three assists at a single edition of the Euros (all-time) or World Cup (on record, since 1966).

La Roja's number 10 has made an impact from the bench and is the first Spaniard to score two goals as a substitute at a single edition of the Euros, and the third at any major tournament after Fernando Morientes at the 2002 World Cup and Alvaro Morata at the 2022 World Cup.

Olmo also registered the joint-most shots (three) alongside fellow substitute Mikel Oyarzabal, and only second behind Fabian Ruiz (24) for passes in the final third with 23. 

De la Fuente's side roll on to their semi-final clash with France yet to lose at the tournament so far; they are only the third nation to win five in a row during a single edition of the finals (excluding shootouts), after Les Bleus at Euro 1984 and Italy at Euro 2020, both of whom won those respective tournaments.

For Germany, however, their woes in the latter stages of the European Championships continued. 

Germany have now lost three of their last four knockout stage games at the Euros (W1), as many as in their previous 12 at the finals beforehand.

Portugal 0-0 France (AET, 3-5 pens): Joao Felix flounders, Ronaldo crashes out

Joao Felix was the unlucky man to fall victim to the lottery of a penalty shootout, with his missed spot-kick allowing Theo Hernandez to set up a meeting with Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2024. 

It will be France's sixth appearance at this stage of the competition, with Didier Deschamps' serial winners only bettered by Germany (eight) for semi-final appearances at the European Championships. 

Four of the five European Championship meetings between France and Portugal have now gone beyond the 90 minutes – the only fixture in the tournament’s history to go the distance more than twice. 

Despite the plethora of goal-scoring talents both nations have possessed over the years, the encounter in Hamburg was the second Euros game on record (from 1980) not to see a single shot from inside either box in the first half – the other was also France v Portugal in the 1984 semi-final.

Portugal have now gone three games without scoring a goal for the first time since a run of four from December 1996 to March 1997.

Excluding penalties and own goals, France are yet to score in their five games at Euro 2024. No side has ever gone longer without such a goal in the tournament's history, with Les Bleus attempting 86 non-penalty shots (7.25 non-pen xG) without scoring from one at this year’s finals.

Deschamps now has four days to rectify his misfiring strike force, and was given food for thought with the introduction of Ousmane Dembele with 20 minutes to go. 

Dembele created more chances (six) than any other player in this match. The only other player to create as many after coming on from the bench in a Euros game on record (since 1980) was Cesc Fabregas for Spain v Russia in 2008 (also six).

For Cristiano Ronaldo, his dreams of closing the curtain on a phenomenal international career with a second honour for his country were shattered in the most gut-wrenching circumstances. 

He had 23 shots across the tournament, but failed to score with any of them. 

Julian Nagelsmann was frustrated to see Germany's chances of winning a home tournament slip away with defeat to Spain, although retiring midfielder Toni Kroos found cause for optimism for the years ahead.

Despite Florian Wirtz's late strike to cancel out Dani Olmo's opener on Friday, an even later goal from Mikel Merino, in the 119th minute, sent Spain through at the hosts' expense.

The 2-1 defeat was tough for Germany to take having worked so hard to get back into the match against perhaps the tournament's standout side in Spain.

Indeed, coach Nagelsmann felt his team deserved more, explaining: "It's difficult to hold back the tears. They did not deserve to lose today.

"We reacted well after the break. Spain had only two chances in the second half, and we were closer to the winner than Spain. We hit the post, we had a chance with a header.

"It hurts, it will take time to make it better, and a home tournament won't come again in my career, I guess.

"We had a good team that stuck together – you could feel after the opening goal that we were not satisfied; we wanted to give more.

"If we appeared as in the past, with no appetite, then it would have been deserved, but the team invested a lot."

Kroos had similar feelings, playing his last professional match, having bowed out of club football as a European champion with Real Madrid.

But after the disappointment of recent tournaments, including Germany's group-stage exits at the past two World Cups, the veteran was enthused by the experience of this run to the quarter-finals.

"We were so close," Kroos said. "Now, at the moment, our elimination covers it all.

"We wanted to achieve something big, and now that dream is gone. We will realise we played a good tournament, but being so close to reaching the next round is hard.

"We can all be proud, because we improved. I am happy to have helped Germany as a football nation to have hope again. In the future, I am convinced the team will succeed.

"But today, we are sad. We wanted to stay in the competition a bit longer."

Niclas Fullkrug, one of the stars of the tournament for Germany, almost came up with another decisive goal when Unai Simon saved superbly.

The Borussia Dortmund forward added: "It is very sad that it is finished.

"You have a euphoria, a united feeling in Germany – it was a long time that this was not like that – but now it is finished."

Unai Simon acknowledged Spain would have to recover their focus amid celebrations of a quarter-final win over Germany that felt "like a Euros final".

La Roja are still two victories from the Euro 2024 title, but they have cleared their greatest hurdle yet after beating the hosts 2-1 late in extra time on Friday.

Subsitute Mikel Merino headed a 119th-minute winner, with Spain earlier frustrated by a Florian Wirtz equaliser at the end of normal time.

Goalkeeper Simon was in no mood to talk down his side's achievement, even if attention must soon turn to Tuesday's semi-final.

"What we have achieved is historic, winning this game is like a Euros final," he said.

"We have already celebrated, but we have to recover because in four days we have a semi-final."

Spain and Germany had perhaps been the tournament's two standout teams through the first four rounds of matches, and this meeting did not disappoint.

"It was the match we were all waiting for, between two of the best teams in the world," said Merino.

"It could be a World Cup final or a European Championship final; the level of those who have come off the bench is very high.

"We have shown that we know how to suffer, that we have a great team."

Spain suffered physically as well as mentally in a feisty encounter that saw 15 cards – the second-most in a Euros match – even if they gave as good as they got.

Robin Le Normand's second yellow card of the finals will now see him miss the next round, with Dani Carvajal also banned. He was already set to sit out the semi-final even before a last-gasp second booking – and third of the tournament – saw him sent off.

Alvaro Morata also appeared to be suspended for a card from the bench in the aftermath of Merino's goal, but the caution was later removed by UEFA.

Regardless, Spain coach Luis de la Fuente is backing the players on the fringes of his squad to deputise in the same effective fashion as super sub Merino.

"Any of the 26 players are ready," he said. "Each one has his role at the right time.

"I am very proud of these players. Tomorrow we will recover, and we will try to have as many players as possible."

De la Fuente might also be without Pedri through injury following a foul from Toni Kroos that was not punished with a card.

The Barcelona midfielder was wiped out in the opening minute of the match and soon had to be replaced by Dani Olmo, who himself stepped up with the opening goal and an assist for Merino.

"Pedri was in pain," De la Fuerte said. "I think it was a red card [for Kroos].

"Whether Pedri is on the pitch or off [for the rest of the tournament], he's going to keep contributing."

However, the coach added of Germany's rugged approach: "These are games like that, when you're playing for so much, at this stage, you have to use all your weapons. I have no complaints about German football."

Mikel Merino's last-gasp header sent Spain into the semi-finals of Euro 2024 as La Roja beat hosts Germany 2-1 after extra time.

Florian Wirtz's 89th-minute strike had cancelled out Dani Olmo's calm finish in a frantic encounter in Stuttgart on Friday.

Yet having had the best chances of extra time, Germany became the first Euros hosts to lose a quarter-final when Merino brilliantly headed home Spain's latest ever goal in the competition in the 119th minute.

Niclas Fullkrug's header was just inches away from rescuing Germany and setting up penalties, but Luis de la Fuente's team, who had Dani Carvajal sent off late on, held on to tee up a clash with either Portugal or France.

Pedri's early injury saw Olmo come on, and the substitute sparked a slow-burner of a contest into life in the 51st minute.

After seeing Alvaro Morata lash over from close range, Olmo made no mistake when he side-footed home from Lamine Yamal's cutback.

Simon made a fantastic save from Robert Andrich's drive, before the post came to Spain's salvation when Niclas Fullkrug's effort clipped off the right-hand upright.

Germany should have been level when Simon made a calamitous clearance soon after, but with the goal at his mercy, Havertz chipped over.

But Havertz's blushes were spared by Wirtz, who drilled in off the post after latching onto Joshua Kimmich's knockdown.

Wirtz had the best chance of the first half of extra time, sending a low effort just wide, before chaos broke out.

Germany saw a penalty appeal turned down after Jamal Musiala hit Marc Cucurella's arm, and Simon saved a fantastic Fullkrug header.

With penalties beckoning, Spain broke clear, and La Roja were in ecstasy as Merino planted in from Olmo's inch-perfect cross.

Ferran Torres' poor finish moments later could have proved costly had Fullkrug's attempt been half a yard to the left, but it was not to be for Germany, even though Spain were reduced to 10 for the final minute after Carvajal picked up his second booking.

Spain call on the super-subs as Lamal sparkles again

Olmo is now the first Spain player to score two goals as a substitute at a single edition of the Euros, and third at any major tournament, after Fernando Morientes at the 2002 World Cup and Morata at the 2022 edition of that competition.

The RB Leipzig attacker is also the second player to have scored in two consecutive knockout stage appearances for Spain at the European Championships, after Chus Pereda way back in 1964.

And Merino's winner meant Spain have now scored two goals from substitutes in a single Euros match for just the second time, after the Euro 2012 final against Italy.

There has been no such scoring luck so far for Yamal at Euro 2024, with the youngster having had 13 shots without finding the back of the net (only Cristiano Ronaldo, with 20, has had more attempts and not scored at this tournament).

However, he again showcased his creative talents, laying on three chances and taking his tally of assists for the tournament to three. He is the first-ever teenager to record three assists at a single edition of the Euros or World Cup.

Musiala cannot find the magic touch

Jamal Musiala went into Friday's tie having scored in three of Germany's four previous games, and aiming to move clear at the top of the Euro 2024 scoring charts and match Wayne Rooney (at Euro 2004) as the only player to score four goals at a single edition of the tournament while aged 21 or younger.

Yet the Bayern Munich playmaker struggled to wield his usual influence on proceedings, creating only one chance, and though his fellow youngster Wirtz shined, it was not enough for the hosts.

There will be more major tournament opportunities for Musiala and Wirtz, but at the other end of the age spectrum, Toni Kroos made his final appearance before retirement. The 34-year-old finished the match with 83 passes attempted, the most on the pitch.

After two long days without any Euro 2024 action, the quarter-finals got going on Friday.

There were two mouthwatering ties on offer as Spain played Germany, while Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo went head-to-head for France and Portugal.

And what about the action online?

Here is the best of the social media posts from Thursday and Friday at Euro 2024.

 

New look?

The hosts have already caught the eye with their performances en route to the quarter-final.

And now, Robert Andrich has caught attention with a bold new style, possibly inspired by Germany's away kit at the tournament. 

Ultimately, Andrich did not get a chance to debut his new look from the start of Germany's clash with Spain, as he was named on the bench.

Walker the cheerleader

Before starting training for the day, Kyle Walker took some time to check in on how the goalkeepers were preparing for England's tie against Switzerland.

John Stones tagged along with his Manchester City team-mate, and almost got themselves into trouble after getting a little too invested in the session. 

Spanish goalkeepers put to the test

Things can get a little hectic in the penalty area during set-pieces with both teams desperate to get on the ball.

Spain have figured out an impressive way to give their goalkeepers an in-game experience during training.

Although, some of those shirt tugs would likely catch the referee's attention...

The Portuguese take over Hamburg

The Portuguese fans were out in full force before their round of 16 penalty shootout victory in Frankfurt.

They have now taken to the streets in Hamburg, with the hopes that their side can recreate the magic of the Euro 2016 final, when they beat France 1-0 to lift the trophy.

Back to their roots

France's squad is full of household names, with their players spanning the globe for their various clubs.

In a special photo shoot, they instead looked back to their beginnings, each donning the shirt of their first-ever club, and they gave a glimpse behind the scenes to see how it all came together.

The competition heats up

The Netherlands produced their best performance so far at Euro 2024 on Tuesday when they booked a place in the quarter-final with a 3-0 victory over Romania.

And their competitive spirit stretches past the pitch and into the game room at their training base.

While Nathan Ake showed off his interesting technique for a new high score, tensions were on the rise at the ping-pong table.

Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente believes his side's blockbuster last-eight clash with Germany would be a worthy final at Euro 2024. 

The two sides - described as "giant powers of European football" by La Roja's boss - go head to head in an eagerly anticipated encounter at Stuttgart Arena on Friday.

Spain, who topped Group B with maximum points, are the only nation at the tournament to have won all four matches thus far, while Germany collected seven points in Group A before overcoming Denmark 2-0 in the last 16.

Both teams are seeking a record-breaking fourth European Championship triumph, and whoever prevails here will be widely expected to go on and lift the Henri Delaunay cup on July 14.

And De la Fuente is relishing what will be a repeat of the 2008 final, which La Roja won 1-0 thanks to Fernando Torres' sole strike.

"It could have been the final of the European Championship, and it'll be an even game on a footballing level," he told reporters during his pre-match press conference.

"Germany always start games in a really powerful way, so obviously we'll try to counteract that. We'll try to take the initiative and go all-out from the first minute.

"These are two giant powers of European football and the first thing I'd say about my team is that one of our great strengths is that we always perform as one unified block. In that respect, us and Germany are in fact quite similar.

"I wouldn't change my players for anyone in the world. For me, my players are the best in the world. We're fully prepared to go out there and try to win. We feel lots of responsibility, and we're extremely focused."

Asked if he thought the winners of this game will go on to lift the trophy, the coach added: "There are other powerful teams in other ties. The closer you get to the final, only the best remain.

"Nothing is free here. Whoever goes through will go through because they're a great team. In football, the best team doesn't always go through.

"I don’t know if [the winners] will be one of the favourites to win the title, but we see ourselves as a very strong team with the potential to fight for it."

Dani Carvajal concurred with De la Fuente, and the Real Madrid defender believes the contest will be determined by the finest of margins.

"I have a great feeling [about the game]," he said. "I can see from my team-mates that everyone is relaxed.

"We know we have to play a great game to beat them, but I can see a confident and energetic team. It's a 50-50 game in which details will make all the difference.

"Man for man, they have world-class players. They have fast wingers, tough centre-backs and people who like to have the ball at their feet. We have similar qualities to them.

"It depends on if they will sit back or press high. That's going to define how close we get to their goal, and maybe the pace of the game."

Julian Nagelsmann explained his preparations for Germany's quarter-final clash with Spain revolved around Jamal Musiala, not Lamine Yamal. 

Yamal, who became only the third teenager to provide multiple assists at the European Championships after Enzo Scifo (1984) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2004), has been a shining light for La Roja at the tournament. 

The 16-year-old has also completed 94% of his passes under pressure, the highest rate of any Spain player to play at least 180 minutes so far at Euro 2024.

However, Musiala has also shone in his second major international tournament and is currently the joint-top scorer heading into the quarter-final stage. 

"My focus is less on Yamal and more on Jamal. Attacking-wise we can do a lot of things ourselves," Nagelsmann said. 

"He (Yamal) is a big talent. He's been very consistent this year and there are not many who are so consistent, also for his club Barcelona.

"He is just 16, which also means our players have a chance to hold their own against him. We'll see how he reacts when things get tough."

Luis de la Fuente's new-look Spain have been one of the standout teams at the tournament so far, scoring nine goals in their four games so far and conceding just once. 

La Roja have moved away from their possession brand of football, something which Nagelsmann believes will be key during the contest in Stuttgart. 

"We have a defensive orientation with different variations but we have the demand to have the ball ourselves. It is more comfortable to play when you have possession," Nagelsmann said.

"Spain press high to force quick transitions, also win the ball high up the pitch. That is a quality they have acquired and it no longer is just tiki-taka."

The weight of expectation falling on Nagelsmann's shoulders is immense, with Germany hopeful of continuing the trend of host nations at the European Championships. 

The tournament hosts of the Euros have never been eliminated from the quarter-final stage of the competition, but Germany face a Spain side they have failed to beat in their last four meetings. 

That winless streak includes a 6-0 defeat in the Nations League in 2020, but Nagelsmann is keen to look to the future, rather than the present. 

"I was not part of these games. I will never say in the changing room this is revenge for a game in the Nations League," Nagelsmann said.

"I wasn't there, and neither were some of the players. It is irrelevant for tomorrow."

Luis de la Fuente believes he has the "best team and the best players" at Euro 2024 as Spain aim to down hosts Germany in the quarter-finals.

Spain have won all four of their matches so far while conceding just once, an unfortunate own goal from Robin Le Normand before they came from behind to hammer Georgia 4-1 in the round of 16.

La Roja are the only team with a 100% winning record at this stage and have even drawn comparisons to the squad that won back-to-back editions of the Euros in 2008 and 2012.

While De la Fuente is not getting ahead of himself, he has no doubt his side can pose Julian Nagelsmann's team problems in Stuttgart on Friday.

"We are ambitious, and we knew that no one has won the first four matches of a Euro," De la Fuente said.

"We have the best team and the best players. We are going to fight for it, and we know what we have ahead of us, which is Germany.

"There is quality, commitment and confidence. The next opponent is a powerhouse, with great players. It is a well-known German machine. It will be a very close match, but we are very confident of our game.

"Now the eight best in Europe are there and what determines whether you are a strong team is knowing how to row and push at the right moment. The difficulty increases with each match and now Germany awaits."

Meanwhile, Germany seem to have put recent major tournament woes behind them as they cruised into the last eight with a comfortable 2-0 win over Denmark.

Nagelsmann's team have scored 10 goals in four games at Euro 2024 so far, with their goals per game average (2.5) their highest at a major tournament since their triumphant 2014 World Cup campaign (2.6).

With Spain being tipped as the slight favourites in this tie, Germany captain Ilkay Gundogan does not think the hosts should be written off so fast.

"We should not be hiding against Spain," said Gundogan. "As a team we can more than keep up with them. We also have extreme qualities.

"I think the Spaniards have more respect for us than they tend to admit in public."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Spain – Lamine Yamal

Lamine Yamal has provided two assists for Spain at Euro 2024, becoming just the third teenager on record (since 1980) to provide multiple assists at the competition, after Enzo Scifo (1984) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2004).

The 16-year-old Barcelona winger is also the only Spain player on record to create 10+ chances and complete 10+ dribbles in a single edition of the European Championships.

Germany – Jamal Musiala

Jamal Musiala has scored in three of Germany's four games at this tournament, finding the net three times from just seven shots overall.

He is currently joint-top in the race for the Golden Boot, while the only player to score more goals in a single edition of the tournament while aged 21 or younger was Wayne Rooney for England in 2004 (four).

 

MATCH PREDICTION: SPAIN WIN

While the Opta supercomputer is leaning more towards this game heading to extra time or even penalties, Spain are given the slight advantage to advance from this tie, with 37.2% to Germany's 34.7%.

This will be the fourth meeting between Spain and Germany at the European Championships, with Spain winning two (1984 and 2008) to Germany's one (1988). Their last such meeting was in the 2008 final with Spain winning 1-0 thanks to a Fernando Torres strike.

These sides last met in the 2022 World Cup when they played out a 1-1 draw in the group stage, extending Spain's unbeaten streak over Germany to four matches in major tournaments (winning two, drawing two).

However, no host nation has ever been eliminated from the quarter-final stage of the Euros from the four previous instances. England won a penalty shootout against Spain in 1996, the Netherlands beat Yugoslavia 6-1 in 2000, Portugal beat England on penalties in 2004, and France defeated Iceland 5-2 in 2016.

Germany are also unbeaten in their last eight games against La Roja on their own turf (winning five and drawing three) since losing their first meeting with Spain on home soil (2-1 in a 1935 friendly).

Nagelsmann's men are also competing in their 19th major tournament quarter-final (14 at World Cups, five at the Euros); they have won all four previous matches at this competition (1996, 2008, 2012, 2016).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Spain – 37.2%

Draw – 28%

Germany – 34.7%

Spain forward Joselu hopes to end former Real Madrid team-mate Toni Kroos' career by defeating Germany in Friday's Euro 2024 quarter-final.

Kroos and Joselu played together under Carlo Ancelotti's Los Blancos last campaign as the Germany international signed off his club career with Champions League and LaLiga glory.

The 34-year-old midfielder has already confirmed the UEFA tournament on home soil will end his glittering playing days, as an enticing last-eight clash awaits in Stuttgart.

Joselu is aiming to put sentiment aside and force Kroos' hand into retirement when Luis de la Fuente's in-form side meet Julian Nagelsmann's hosts at Stuttgart Arena.

"It's a shame we have to send Toni into retirement like that, but hopefully we will win on Friday and it will be Toni's last game, for our own good," Joselu told a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

"We have to believe in ourselves and not worry about another player... I love Toni, we care for him, but I think Friday is Toni's last game."

Kroos waved farewell to Madrid in May after the Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund.

The former Bayern Munich man has carried that form into the Euros, completed 95% of his passes for Germany (411/431).

That is the highest completion rate by a player to attempt 300+ passes at a European Championship tournament (since 1980), while he also leads all players at Euro 2024 for line-breaking passes (125).

"It's been a pleasure for me to play with him. I think he reflects all that is Real Madrid, the values of the club," added Joselu.

"He's a fundamental player for Germany, as well as for Real Madrid, we need to keep an eye on him on Friday."

Having lost their first meeting with Spain on German soil (2-1 in a 1935 friendly), Germany are unbeaten in their last eight games against La Roja on their own turf (W5 D3).

Joselu suggested Nagelsmann's men are therefore the favourites, despite Spain going unbeaten against Germany in their last four major tournament clashes.

Friday will mark a poignant moment for Joselu, too, as he returns to Stuttgart, where the forward was born before leaving for Spain.

"On Friday, it will also be a special moment. My mother used to go to games at Stuttgart," he said.

"Representing my country is the maximum a footballer can achieve... I enjoy every day.

Toni Kroos says he is not feeling nostalgic about the possibility of his career ending on Friday when Germany face Spain in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

Kroos came out of international retirement to play for Germany on home soil at the European Championships, but announced in May that he would be retiring from football at the end of the tournament.

The German won LaLiga before earning a sixth Champions League title in his farewell game for Real Madrid and is now aiming to finish his career by lifting the Euros trophy for the first time.

With a place in the next round not guaranteed, Kroos could play his final game on Friday should Germany lose to Spain, but that is not something he is thinking about.

"It is the second most important title you can win, and it would have a huge importance for me," he said. "If I did not see having the chance to do it with the team, I would not have [come back].

"It would be a sensational end, but I have also considered the possibility of it not happening. I am not nostalgic at all and did not bring any treats for [journalists] either.

"I do not expect it to be my last game, so I assume we will see each other again."

Kroos has been an influential figure in the side already. In the group stage, he completed 95% of his passes (411/431), the highest completion rate by a player to attempt 300+ passes on record in the competition.

After a string of disappointing major tournament results in recent years, with Germany being knocked out of the last two World Cups in the group stage, Kroos is confident they can go all the way this time around.

"There were big doubts about the tournament before it started," he added. "That's normal after the previous tournaments we had.

"So we've now reached a minimal goal and, whatever the result, we won't be speaking about a tournament catastrophe here. But anything that comes now is not a bonus.

"We, as a team, have the goal to win the tournament. So, it is not a bonus, but we are at a stage in the tournament we wanted to reach.

"We should be satisfied, but the demand within the team is to progress further, and we are convinced we can do it."

Leroy Sane is hoping he can replicate the impact of Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams when Euro 2024 hosts Germany face Spain in a huge quarter-final tussle on Friday.

Germany will face La Roja for a spot in the last four in Stuttgart after overcoming Denmark 2-0 in the last 16, while Luis de la Fuente's side beat Georgia 4-1 after falling behind.

Spain have arguably been the standout team at the tournament thus far, with the impact of their young wing duo Yamal and Williams turning heads.

Sixteen-year-old Yamal assisted as he became the youngest player to feature in a Euros match against Croatia in the group stage, also teeing up Fabian Ruiz against Georgia to become the first teenager with multiple assists at the Euros since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2004 (also two).

Williams, meanwhile, netted a fine solo goal on Sunday, becoming the first player on record at the Euros (since 1980) to score, assist and complete 100% of his passes (46/46) in a game he started.

Yamal (11) and Williams (nine) rank joint-third and joint-seventh for dribbles completed at Euro 2024, with the former also fifth for the total distance he has carried the ball upfield (556.8 metres).

Having replaced Florian Wirtz in Germany's starting lineup against Denmark, Bayern Munich man Sane is desperate to match his fellow wingers.

"Especially when they win possession, they instantly look to play forward. They now have an added weapon with their two very quick wingers," Sane said of Spain.

"What happened in the past against Spain, we cannot change that. Our goal is to get to the next round and we will do everything we can to achieve that."

Sane endured a stop-start season with Bayern, with a groin problem he sustained during the Bundesliga run-in threatening his place at Germany's home tournament.

Reflecting on his disrupted preparations, Sane added: "I didn't know how long the injury would last and if I would make the tournament.

"At the end of the day I am here and happy that it worked out and that I could recover and be here for the Euros.

"It is not yet completely gone but it is much, much better than before. I have no pain any longer and that is very good. 

"Before when I had a game I needed five or six days for the pain to subside. I don't have that anymore."

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