With the group stages of Euro 2016 coming to an emphatic conclusion on Wednesday (22 June), IBTimes UK considers those who have lit up the competition so far.
Northern Ireland needed their goalkeeper at the top of his game to ensure their qualification for the knock-out stages of Euro 2016. The former Hamilton shot stopper thoroughly delivered against world champions Germany, making 15 saves to save his side in a scenario where goal difference has proved to be imperative.
The Tottenham Hotspur full-back turned in his best performances in an England shirt against Russia and Wales. We all know about his attacking threat down the right flank, but in France over the last two weeks he has demonstrated vast improvements in other areas of his game.
Perhaps the best centre-half in the game at the moment, Boateng's authority in the German backline has been the highlight of a rather sub-par group campaign for the world champions. The Bayern Munich defender is simply too quick, too strong and too canny for those who come up against him.
That exquisite pass to set up Emanuele Giaccherini against Belgium is likely to be remembered as one of the best assists of the competition. Bonucci has been in perfect harmony with Juventus teammates Gianluigi Buffon and Georgio Chiellini, and the Azzurri didn't concede in their first two group games – where he was faultless.
The unsung hero of Wales' remarkable campaign. The Spurs full-back has played every minute of his country's campaign so far and has looked increasingly assured as a left-sided centre-half.
The Spain maestro re-established his country as a tournament favourite with two flawless performances against the Czech Republic and Turkey. The Barcelona star admitted after the defeat to Croatia he was ready to take what would have been a decisive penalty that could have won his side the game. You would have certainly fancied him to slot home rather than Sergio Ramos.
While Germany are urgently lacking a cutting edge, Kroos has dominated each game he has played in from midfield. Against Northern Ireland, 92% of his 111 passes (more than the entire Northern Ireland team combined) found a teammate.
Rakitic was brilliant against the Czech Republic, with his exceptional eye for a pass – that sometimes goes unnoticed at Barcelona – helping his side control the contest before that unfortunate capitulation. With Luka Modric missing from the final game against Spain, Rakitic filled the void superbly and was unlucky not score with a sublime chip that almost caught out of David de Gea.
The Croatia and Inter Milan forward has been perhaps the outstanding performer of the competition. Against Spain, his excellent cross teed up Nikola Kalanic for an equaliser before his stunning solo effort sealed the win. His relentless running has had full-backs terrified in every game he has played in.
While he failed to ignite the game against Switzerland, Payet's contribution in France's opening two wins still justifies his spot in this eleven. The West Ham star wasn't even considered an automatic starter for Les Bleus just a few weeks ago; he now appears undroppable after his dramatic strikes against Romania and Albania.
Bale was the only player to score in each group game, helping Wales seal top spot in Group A. With Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic goalless and Cristiano Ronaldo waiting until the final group game to get going, Bale is the only established superstar to have stood out in the competition so far.