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There is no question that some rather good men have gone home already, but who is the greatest to have packed their bags and caught an early plane after the group stages?

POLL

We have finally reached the knockout stages of Euro 2012, and have seen some fine footballing sides go home, with some outstanding players already set for their summer holidays.

But who is the best man to have been knocked out of the group stages?

Is it Zlatan Ibrahimovic? The huge striker flits between being an absentee and the star of the show, as seen from his fantastic opening goal against France on Tuesday.

Or is it Luka Modric? The Croatia midfielder almost defeated Spain on his own, and but for some better finishing from his team-mates, they might still be in the competition. Is his class in midfield something lacking in the quarter-finals?

Could Nicklas Bendtner be the best player who is not in the knockout stages? The striker certainly has a, shall we say, inflated opinion of himself, but are his €100,000 pants something you wanted to see again this summer?

Alan Dzagoev was certainly a surprise smash in the group stages with a couple of goals in Russia's 4-1 win over Czech Republic. He added another goal to his Euro 2012 tally against Poland in the 1-1 draw, and was certainly entertaining in his brief time in the spotlight.

Or is veteran Andriy Shevchenko the one you really wanted to see lead his team a little further? The striker bagged a brilliant double against Sweden, but left early following Ukraine's defeat to England in the final game of the group. The 35-year-old has announced his retirement from international football, and could yet call it a day at club level. Should this have been his swansong?

HAVE YOUR SAY

So who do you think is the best player missing from the knockout stages? Let us know by leaving a comment below, or getting in touch via Twitter.

Poll of the day

Who is the best player to be eliminated from Euro 2012?

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