JONATHAN SHALLARD REPORTING —- At last, a chance for European football to catch its breath, a three-day chasm between Turkey’s dismissal of Austria in the Round of 16 finale and the clash of the giants between hosts Germany and favourites Spain in the opening quarter-final.

Friday will see Stuttgart as the venue three hours before Portugal face France in Hamburg hoping to repeat their surprise triumph in the 2016 final. One day later, on Saturday, stuttering England play Switzerland in Dusseldorf before Netherlands take on the delerious young Turks in Berlin.

Five former European champions remain in pursuit of ultimate succession to homeward-bound Italy: Germany, Spain, Portugal, France and Netherlands.

Munich and Dortmund stage the semi-finals next Wednesday and Thursday with the winners being crowned in Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Sunday, July 14.