Today’s UEFA Euro 2024 Semi-finals

Spain and France faceoff in the Euro 2024 semi-finals

Just one step away from Berlin, continental heavyweights Spain and France will meet in the Euro 2024 semi-finals on Tuesday. Boasting a flawless record so far, La Roja made it to Munich by eliminating their hosts in the previous round; meanwhile, Les Bleus reached the final four via a tense penalty shootout win over Portugal.

Bringing together perhaps the tournament’s two strongest sides, the first quarter-final of Euro 2024 promised much and ultimately delivered, as Spain struck during extra time to claim a 2-1 win in Stuttgart.


A formidable force under Luis de la Fuente, Spain are the only team to have won all five matches thus far, and no nation in European Championship history has won six times in a single finals, or even posted six wins in a row.

Much credit has been handed to the former Under-21 boss, who instigated a tactical change upon taking over from Luis Enrique and is now reaping the rewards: his Spain side have recorded lower possession than their opponents twice this summer (48% vs Germany, 47% vs Croatia), which is more times than across 44 major-tournament matches between the 2006 and 2022 World Cups.

A more diverse approach, featuring quick passing and pace out wide, has proved mightily successful, as since the start of 2023, La Roja have the best win percentage of any European nation, winning 15 of their 19 games under De la Fuente.

Victory in the most recent UEFA Nations League bred faith in the direction of travel, and they are on their best winning run since the glory days of June 2010.

Spain have progressed from four of five European Championship semi-finals to date – though they lost on penalties to eventual winners Italy at this stage three years ago – and will now fight for the right to meet either England or the Netherlands on Sunday.


Meanwhile, France are aiming to reach a fourth European Championship decider, but only the second played away from French soil.

Didier Deschamps presided over the most recent one – 2016’s defeat to Portugal in Paris – and the double World Cup winner is intent on going one better this time around.

France players

Since being beaten in the last World Cup final, his talented team have started to stutter, and their progress to the semi-finals has been far less fluent than that of Spain, who swept past Croatia, Italy, Albania and Georgia before toppling the tournament hosts.

Having lost out to Austria for top spot in Group D, France were uninspired in their last-16 win over Belgium before edging past Portugal in the quarter-finals.


Concern over the form and fitness of captain Kylian Mbappe were raised again, as Real Madrid’s newest ‘galactico’ was forced off ahead of the shootout, but Les Bleus once more found a way to get the job done.

With a masked Mbappe misfiring, there have only been four goals scored in their five Euro 2024 matches so far – three for and just one against – and all by way of either penalties or own goals.

The only team on record to have more than 50 non-penalty shots at a European finals and fail to find the net with any, France may not be as aesthetically pleasing as their Spanish counterparts – who they beat 2-1 in their most recent meeting, the 2021 Nations League final – but very few would bet against them.


In the sixth meeting between Spain and France at a major tournament, it is surely the turn of an inspired La Roja side to taste success again.

Spanish speed and flair may initially be stunted by a stubborn blue wall, but they will ultimately find a way through Europe’s toughest defence and claim a deserved place in the final.


Luke Shaw ‘fit and ready’ to play 90 minutes for England

England defender Luke Shaw says he is fit and ready to play 90 minutes at Euro 2024.

England defender Luke Shaw

Shaw, the only specialist left-back in Gareth Southgate’s squad, did not play in England’s first four matches of the Euros because of a hamstring injury.

But the Manchester United player came on as a second-half substitute during the quarter-final victory over Switzerland – and says he is now ready to play a bigger part in England’s campaign.

“Of course, I think I am [fit and ready to play 90 minutes],” Shaw said. “That is down to Gareth’s decision. I feel fit and ready to go.”

Shaw’s appearance from the bench after 78 minutes against Switzerland marked his first competitive football since suffering his injury in February.

Southgate had hoped to have Shaw back during the group stage in Germany, but his recovery took longer than expected and has meant Kieran Trippier deputising on the left side of defence.

“The last four months have been really tough,” Shaw said of his injury problems. “At the start I was expected to come back a lot sooner, but I went through a lot of setbacks.

“It was really nice to get on the other night and get some minutes – I’ve been itching.

“I think before the squad got announced, we had a plan to come back around the second or third game but, unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and I was pushed back a game or so.

“Of course, it’s tough. They were really there for me, not just Gareth and Steve [Holland, England assistant manager] but the medical staff as well. I have a lot to thank them for.”



Search goes on for Moroccan footballers lost at sea

Moroccan club Ittihad Tanger has told the BBC the search continues for two footballers who went missing off the country’s northern Mediterranean coast on Saturday.

Five staff members from the top-flight side were taking part in an excursion on a yacht rented from the beach resort of M’diq – north of the city of Tetouan.

Ittihad Tanger football team

Emergency services rescued three people after the incident, but senior players Abdellatif Akhrif, 24, and Salman El-Harrak, 18, are missing.

Oussama Aflah, Soumaimane Dahdouh and Abdelhamid Maali, a Morocco Under-20 international, were rescued after being out at sea for several hours.

Aflah is a club employee, while Dahdouh and Maali are considered promising young players with the reserve team.

Ittihad Tanger president Mohamed Cherkaoui confirmed the “search for the missing players is still ongoing”.

He also asked members of the media and fans on social media to continue to be careful with information they share about the pair.



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