The star power returned to Euro 2012 this week, and not a moment too soon. The group stage has been exciting but most of the highlights have been courtesy of players casual fans like us have never heard of. Thankfully, all that changed this weekend.
After a fairly uneventful start in his first two games, Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo finally came alive. His dazzling two-goal performance—he could have had five, it was ridiculous how he dominated—against the disappointing Dutch set Euro abuzz. With Portugal drawing a favourable match-up with the Czech Republic in the quarters, we see Ronaldo taking his team into the semi-finals. From there, anything is possible. (One word: Greece.)
And don’t look now, but “the wildcard” Wayne Rooney returns today for England! Unpredictable Rooney is back from suspension and he’s bringing his new haircut with him. The English have actually been playing quite well with Rooney on the sidelines but they will likely insert him into the lineup immediately. Look for Rooney to make up for lost time starting today, and that should make for great theatre.
With heavy-weight contenders such as Spain, Germany and Italy all moving on as well, Euro 2012 is heating up. Bring on the quarterfinals.