Konate hits back at Saliba criticism before Euro 2024 semi final

Ibrahima Konate has defended Arsenal’s William Saliba amid criticism before France’s Euro 2024 semifinal against Spain.

Initially, it was anticipated that Konate would partner with Dayot Upamecano in France’s central defense for the tournament.

However, Didier Deschamps chose to start Saliba in all five of France’s matches, during which the team has conceded only one goal.

Saliba has received widespread acclaim for his performances in Germany, especially for his strong showing against Romelu Lukaku in France’s 1-0 victory over Belgium in the round of 16.

Nonetheless, some remain unimpressed with Saliba, with a Konate fan account pointing out an error made by the Arsenal defender in the quarter-final win over Portugal on Friday.

But Konate replied to the clip of Saliba’s error, with the Liverpool star writing in a post on X: ‘My brother stop doing that, Saliba is so good and he’s my brother! He deserves all this!

‘So let’s be happy for! Thank you for supporting me I wasn’t 100 per cent that’s all, now we have to go to the final.’

France is gearing up for their Euro 2024 semifinal match against Spain, set for 8pm on Tuesday.

Deschamps’ team will face the winner of the second semifinal between England and the Netherlands, scheduled to start at 8pm on Wednesday.

On Sunday, France midfielder Youssouf Fofana responded to criticism of the team’s playing style under Deschamps, pointing out that they have reached the semifinals without scoring a goal from open play.

‘Personally, I don’t care at all. In the end, we’re in the semi-finals,’ Fofana said.

‘The level of [Kylian] Mbappe and [Antoine] Griezmann, we have to realise that that’s enough to be a semi-finalist, I don’t see why we would nit-pick because in the end that’s enough.

‘Scoring is the goal of football, but when you see our cries of joy, it’s more a moment of relief.

‘It’s not the fact of scoring, it’s more the relief because at 0-0 the more time passes, the more the pressure increases. It doesn’t matter if it’s x or y who pushes the ball into the back of the net, it counts.’

JB

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