Germany showed that they are a side capable of winning four European titles after soundly thrashing Portugal 3-2 in an exciting match that catapulted them to the semi-finals of the competition.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, returning after suspension, scored the first goal after a fluid series of passes through the Portuguese defence and then played a part in the next two. After 22 minutes he slid in to guide the ball home and, not four minutes later, set up striker Klose to net the second. Nuno Gomes pulled one back for Portugal before half-time but German captain Michael Ballack sealed the deal with a controversial header. A late goal for Portugal did nothing but make the scoreline look better for them – they still went home.

‘I’m so happy we won,’ said Man of the Match Schweinsteiger. ‘We’re in the top four. We’ve got the best team in my eyes. We saw that we can… fight and the German virtues are still there."

Germany are now once again favourites at 5/2 to beat either Croatia or Turkey in the semi-finals and emerge victorious in the final. Holland are the second pick at 7/2.

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