He's handsome, he's vain and he is successful. Cristiano Ronaldo, who played with the Spanish champions Real Madrid, is set to lead the Portuguese who will compete against Germany in Group B. The 27 year old is especially well known for his explosive wing runs and powerful free kicks.
Having established himself while playing for Real Madrid, German-Turkish player Mesut Özil shines above all for his assists. A creative midfielder in the German national team, Özil is also among the leading goal scorers.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is the lynchpin of the German national team, serving as the squad's vice captain. The Bavarian pro acts as a kind of deputy to coach Joachim Löw on the pitch. He also typically makes a good impression during television interviews. The training for the European championship will be particularly important for Schweinsteiger, as he is recovering from a long-term injury.
Andres Iniesta, the small midfielder from Barcelona, led the Spanish during the last two big tournaments, the European championship and the World Cup. He plays in perfect harmony with his partner Xavi. They've been a successful duo for the Spanish national team for years.
Sweden will likely play only a small role during the Euro 2012, but their superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have a large profile. The eccentric Ibrahimovic left the national team in 2010, but later returned and managed to score five goals in eight games during the Euro 2012 qualifier.
Luka Modric seems pale, lanky and inconspicuous. But that impression is shattered whenever the small midfielder, who played for Tottenham Hotspur in England, gets a hold of the ball. Modric is an artist on the pitch who conceptualizes and leads Croatia's game. He can also be quite dangerous around the goal.
Initially, Wayne Rooney is only allowed to watch. The firebrand from Manchester was sent off the pitch during the EURO 2012 qualifications in Montenegro and subsequently banned for two games. The brawny striker can return in the third group stage against co-host Ukraine.
The Dutch can count themselves as lucky for having a striker like Robin van Persie among their ranks. The 28 year old from FC Arsenal is the top goal scorer in the English Premier League and creates a winning striker duo with Bundesliga top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The midfielder Wesley Sneijder is supposed to feed the Dutch team's goal cannons, Persie and Huntelaar, with assists. Sneijder is expected to be hot this tournament, even though he had a disappointing season with Inter Milan. The lost World Cup title from 2010 also still nags at the 27 year old.
Andrey Arshavin at least has the airs and graces of a star. But he has not managed to make a breakthrough outside of Russia yet. He is playing again with his ex-team St. Petersburg, on loan from Arsenal.
A love-hate emotion has united French soccer fans since the 2010 World Cup and the national team's mutiny against their coach with Franck Ribery (left). The Bavarian star is an undisputed leader in the young team of coach Laurent Blanc. An upcoming star in the French soccer universe is Olivier Giroud (right), the leading goal scorer in the French league.
The two Poles became champions with Germany's Borussia Dortmund and are returning home to the Euro 2012 in Poland with self-confidence. Lewandowski (second from right) and Blaszczykowski (right) are the two main supports of the Polish national team, coached by Franciszek Smuda. Carried by the euphoria of Polish fans, they could deliver a surprise during the tournament.
These are the star players at the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.