David Villa (Valencia, Barcelona, Spain)
Villa won the Golden Boot in Euro 2008 and became hot property thereafter, attracting heavy interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid but he chose instead to stay with Valencia, a move that incensed then-Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster, who criticised Villa of not having any ambition.
As if in response to Schuster's comments, Villa won the 2010 World Cup with Spain and finished top of the goal-scorers list along with Germany's Thomas Muller. He then added insult to injury for Real Madrid by joining Barcelona after the tournament.
His success continued with Barcelona as he spearheaded the attack with Messi and won the Champions League and La Liga in his first season at Nou Camp. Villa's second season was cut short after breaking his fibula in a World Club Cup match, an injury which put him out of action for six months.
Xavi (Barcelona, Spain)
Named the best player of Euro 2008 after masterminding Spain's midfield as they finally shrugged off the tag of underachievers, Xavi's career took off in the years after the tournament.
He won the UEFA Champions League twice (2009, 2011) as Barcelona's tiki-taka form took shape around him and he was again in the thick of Spain's World Cup win in 2010, pulling strings in the middle for La Roja.
Most significantly, Xavi's unique role as a pass master was recognised in the footballing world, garnering him three straight Ballon d'Or nominations (2009, 2010 and 2011). He finished in third place on all three occasions.
In the 2010-2011 season, Xavi cemented his name in Barcelona folklore when he surpassed Migueli (549) as the player with most appearances for the club (628 and counting).
Fernando Torres (Liverpool, Chelsea, Spain)
Torres was the toast of Spain after his winning goal in the final against Germany handed them their first major trophy in 44 years.
His club career continued in rosy fashion after the Euro win as he endeared himself to the Anfield crowd with his goal scoring heroics and was voted in The Times' list of '50 Greatest Liverpool Players' in 2009, two years after joining the club. Torres was also the most popular name to feature on replica Premier League shirts sold across the world in the 2009-10 season.
In January 2011, the striker set a new British transfer record with a £50 million to Chelsea - a move that proved unpopular with the Liverpool crowd. It didn't turn out well for Torres too, when he suffered two incredible goal droughts - one of 903 minutes of football without a goal in the 2010-2011 season and a second one of 1540 minutes in the 2011-2012 season.
Torres ended both his goal droughts and his trophy drought at club level as well when Chelsea won the FA Cup and the Champions League this season.
Michael Ballack (Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)
Ballack captained the Germany team to the finals in 2008 with several influential midfield performances, even playing on in the final despite suffering from a calf injury and earning himself a place in the Euro 2008 team of the tournament.
He won the Premier League and FA Cup in 2010 with Chelsea but everything went downhill for Ballack from then onwards. Despite his winning role in spearheading the midfield, Ballack was surprisingly released by Chelsea the season after to ease the wage bill.
The aging star rejoined his former side Bayer Leverkusen in the twilight of his career and passed on the captaincy of the national side to Phillip Lahm.
Lukas Podolski (Arsenal, Cologne, Germany)
Euro 2008 was a watershed tournament for Podolski . It saw his popularity soar after proving his versatility when deployed somewhat out of position on the left side of midfield.
He was directly involved in five of Germany's 10 goals, scoring three and setting up two for Bayern Munich teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger. He finished the tournament tied for second amongst the goal-scorers with three strikes.
Podolski moved back to hometown club Cologne right after the tournament, bringing to an end his unhappy stint at Bayern Munich.
He continued to shine for Cologne, leading his boyhood side from the front and attracted interest from big clubs around the world despite the club being eventually relegated this season.
However, ‘Poldi' didn't make the drop to the Bundesliga II. Arsenal announced on April 30 that the player will join the Gunners in the coming transfer window, ending a long transfer chase that lasted more than a year.
Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Holland)
Holland impressively topped the tournament's Group of Death with Italy, France and Romania with Sneijder the key to the Dutch success with his playmaking. The midfielder scored one of the goals of Euro 2008 against then-defending World Cup champions Italy with an acrobatic volley to beat Gianluigi Buffon.
He was less popular back at his club, Real Madrid, where a trophy-barren season prompted club president Florentino Perez to make wholesale changes and sell Sneijder along with compatriot Arjen Robben.
Sneijder ended up at Inter Milan where he ironically found himself laden with trophies as the Nerazurri won the Champions League, Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Club World Cup in 2010.
Despite all the success, interest from Manchester United turned Sneijder's head and rumours floated out in 2011 of the Dutchman wanted to leave San Siro for Old Trafford. However, nothing materialised and the transfer saga dragged on for the entire season where Inter Milan finished seventh, one of their worst performances in recent history.
With new coach Andrea Stramaccioni at helm, Sneijder seemed to have settled down at Inter again and has recently said that he isn't looking for a move away any more.
Hamit Altintop (Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Turkey)
Altintop turned heads in Euro 2008 with a stellar performance against Czech Republic in the group stage for Turkey. Then-coach Fatih Terim came under fire for deploying him as a right back for the first two games despite Altintop being a midfielder with Bayern Munich.
The player showed what he was capable of when he was redeployed back in midfield. In the final group game against Czech Republic, he assisted all three goals in the comeback win and then put in a man-of-the-match performance to beat Croatia in the quarter finals.
However, he failed to cement a place in the Bayern midfield and was eventually released after failing to negotiate a contract in 2011. He caught the eye of Real Madrid and the Spanish club signed him as a free agent, but Altintop has only played a bit-part role at the club in his first season there.
Semih Senturk (Fenerbahce, Turkey)
The Fenerbahce striker earned himself plaudits as the ‘super-sub' of the tournament after he came on as a substitute to score three crucial goals for his side on separate occasions.
His first was in Turkey's second group match against Switzerland where Senturk scored a ‘handball goal' to equalise for his side. Senturk then put his name into record books when he scored the equaliser in the final minute of extra time in the quarterfinals against Croatia (the latest goal ever scored in an European Championships match) to give his side a chance at the penalty shootout in which they later triumphed.
In the semi-finals against Germany, Senturk capitalised on an error from Phillip Lahm to score an equaliser for Turkey four minutes from time. However, Lahm exacted revenge with a last-minute goal to eliminate Turkey, but Senturk had already sealed his name as Turkey's hero.
At club level, he remained with Fenerbahce, his club since 2006, and won the Turkish Super Lig title in 2011 and is set to remain there until 2014.
Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal, Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia)
Arshavin missed the first two games of Euro 2008 through suspension, but was the talk of the tournament for a few days after taking Holland to pieces with his passing, dribbling and creativity.
The performance prompted a series of bids for the Russian midfielder, with Tottenham failing to meet Zenit St Petersburg's £22m asking price. Arshavin remained with Zenit for half a season before Arsenal announced his signing a day in January.
The Russian attacking midfielder was a hit in the Premier League on his debut season, scoring all four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw against Liverpool and even captaining Arsenal in a match against Portsmouth later that season.
Arshavin continued his impressive goalscoring antics but his refusal to track back and help in defence was his ultimate undoing, with fans even jeering him when he was brought on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011.
He eventually sealed a loan deal back to Zenit St Petersburg in January 2012 and won the Russian Premier League with his boyhood club.