Elsewhere, Joao Moutinho put in a classy display for Portugal, Dimitris Salpingidis did his best to halt the German juggernaut and Olivier Giroud continued to disappoint
By Joe Wright
Eight has become four as Euro 2012 nears its showpiece conclusion, and with the stage set for a number of players to write themselves into the history books, some have grabbed their chance better than others.
Goal.com brings you both the best and the worst individual displays throughout the quarter-finals as we track those who could be moving to the Premier League this summer.
While Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the only goal – and with it, all the headlines – against Czech Republic, team-mate and reported Chelsea target Joao Moutinho was hugely impressive in the Portuguese midfield, dictating the flow of the game and ultimately providing the cross from which Ronaldo broke the deadlock.
The 25-year-old has been linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge in the past, and if long-term target Luka Modric opts for a move to Real Madrid this summer, Moutinho's classy display for the Seleccao could see Roman Abramovich break the bank once more for his services.
Dimitris Salpingidis was something of a Greek hero in their quarter-final destruction at the hands of Germany, setting up Georgios Samaras for a shock equaliser before slotting away a late consolation penalty. The 30-year-old has been linked with Stoke, Wigan, Norwich and newly-promoted sides West Ham and Reading of late, and could be available on a free transfer following a contract dispute with current club PAOK.
The striker has already proven his goal-scoring credentials on English soil having netted at White Hart Lane in last season's Europa League, and could prove a shrewd acquisition this summer.
After impressing during the group stages, Jordi Alba was once more instrumental in the reigning champions' victory over France. He set up Xabi Alonso for the opening goal with a delightfully clipped ball to the back post, and proved a constant attacking threat down the left flank while also keeping fellow Premier League target Mathieu Debuchy firmly on the fringes of the play.
With both Barcelona and Manchester United reportedly interested in the 23-year-old, more displays of this calibre could see Valencia add a million or two to his price tag.
The quarter-final stage capped off something of a tournament to forget for Olivier Giroud. Having been used solely as a substitute during the group stages, the 25-year-old failed to make an impact once more as he was brought on during the second half of France's defeat to Spain, but was deprived of service and barely touched the ball as La Roja bossed the midfield.
With Arsene Wenger declaring that a deal to bring the forward to the Emirates from Montpellier is now "90 per cent done," the Arsenal boss will be hoping his newest signing can rediscover the form which saw him score 21 goals in Ligue 1 last season.
The same fixture showcased another Arsenal target, another promising player for Les Bleus... and another disappointing performance. Yann M'Vila, brought into the side in place of Samir Nasri, was deployed by Laurent Blanc in a bid to throw a spanner into the finely-tuned works of the Spanish midfield – but ultimately to no avail.
The 21-year-old was too often profligate with his passing and could not disrupt the dynamic movement of his opponents, ultimately being replaced by Nasri in the second half. Wenger has long been linked with the Rennes midfielder, but would not have been overly impressed by his display on Saturday evening.
It was another frustrating night on the sidelines for Fernando Llorente, one of Manchester City's reported summer targets. The Atheltic Bilbao hitman has failed to get onto the pitch thus far, and with his club slapping a €37m price tag on the forward, time may be running out for the 27-year-old to prove his worth as the champions turn their attention towards Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao and Napoli's Edinson Cavani.
Meanwhile, Daniele De Rossi – who has likewise long been on Roberto Mancini's radar – endured something of a difficult evening on Sunday despite his Italy side reaching the semi-finals following their penalty shoot-out win over England.
While he may have been unlucky after his sensational long-range effort rattled Joe Hart's post early in the first half, he scuffed a gilt-edged chance from just three yards after the break and seemed to fade from the action as a result, before being replaced by Antonio Nocerino.
The 28-year-old admitted recently that English football interests him, but will need to recapture his best form against Germany in the last four if he is to tempt the champions to make a serious enquiry - or guide the Azzurri to the final.