Euro 2012 Quarterfinals: Stars Who Will Shine in Final 8 Action

Michael GuadalupeFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2012

L'VIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 17:  Mario Gomez of Germany in action during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Denmark and Germany at Arena Lviv on June 17, 2012 in L'viv, Ukraine.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

With the UEFA Euro 2012 quarterfinals already underway, it's time to take a look at some players who will stand out above the rest. They will be key factors in deciding if their team will come out of these quarterfinals victorious or not.  Will there be upsets going into the Euro 2012 quarterfinals?  There very well could be.

But without a doubt, here are three players who will play a huge role in the success or failure of their teams.


Mario Gomez

The German attacker Mario Gomez will without a doubt shine when Germany goes against Greece.  Gomez has shined so far throughout Euro 2012. He scored the only goal for Germany when they went up against Portugal.

Gomez also helped lift Germany over the Netherlands by scoring two goals in that game.

Now that Germany is going up against a Greece team who will be without Giorgos Karagounis, Mario Gomez will have an even bigger opportunity to stand out and continue his dominance in Euro 2012.

Gomez is also looking at the possibility of receiving the Golden Boot award for his prolific goal scoring.

Look for Gomez to continue his domination when Germany and Greece collide, and also look for Gomez to continue his powerful performance should Germany advance.


Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney was able to come back from a two-game suspension and was the sole reason why England won against Ukraine.  Rooney scored the only goal for that entire game.

While England have been able to manage without this talented striker, he will undoubtedly be a huge part in how well England do against Italy.

England do have some talented players in the lineup; they will still have to make room for Rooney to start.  While Rooney's temper is always something to question, his team spirit is something England need if they plan on breaking past the quarterfinals.

When England coach Roy Hodgson was asked about future worries concerning Rooney, he was quoted by as saying:

"I don't have any doubts about Wayne's physical or mental fitness."

It is true that Rooney had not seen any action for about a month prior to that Ukraine game. There should be no doubts that Rooney is ready to shine.  Look for Rooney to show the world why he is a world class striker when England faces off against Italy.

Iker Casillas

When it comes to world class goalkeepers, look no further that Iker Casillas.  Casillas was able to help Spain fend off Croatia by making an impressive save that would keep Spain alive, and help them eventually beat Croatia.

Casillas has an impressive list of feats: Two UEFA Champions League titles, five La Liga crowns, glory at Euro 2008 and further glory at the 2010 World Cup. He is also Spain's most capped international and has the most clean sheets of any international goalkeeper.  Those are just some of Casillas' achievements.

Now Casillas is up against one of his toughest challenges so far in the Euro 2012: He has to stop France and the fantastic forward Karim Benzema.

Spain's captain will undoubtedly have a hard time in this quarterfinals matchup.  However, don't be surprised if Casillas shows the world why he is one of the best goalkeepers around.

With the Euro cup quarterfinals underway, look for these three players to step up and shine when their teams need them the most.