The Blues have reached the semi-finals for the 4th time in the last 5 major tournaments.

Kshaunish Sengupta

Spirited Spain Clinches Last-Minute Victory Over Germany, Portugal Succumbs to France in Penalty Heartbreak at Euro 2024

Euro 2024, Football upsets, Portugal France penalties, Spain Germany match, Tournament highlights

Spain stunned the host nation Germany in a cliffhanger of the match towards the fag end of the match, leaving Germany with no time for a strike back. Both teams are football superpowers in their own terms. Spain’s substitute Mikel Merino headed a 119th-minute goal to seal the deal for the Spanish. The match was nothing short of a thriller. German substitute Florian Wirtz scored a fine goal to equalize, but Merino’s brilliance ensured a top-4 finish for Spain in Euro Cup 2024. They will face the mighty France in the Semi-Finals on July 10, Wednesday.

One of the greatest footballers of Germany, Toni Kroos played his final international match for his country after the Germans got eliminated in the quarterfinals. “To be honest, right now the main feeling is that the tournament is over because we all had a big goal that we wanted to achieve together. And this dream we all had has been shattered now. We can all be proud because we improved. I am happy to have helped Germany as a football nation to have hope again. In the future, I am convinced the team will succeed, but today we are sad because we wanted to stay in this competition a bit longer,” said Kroos. The retirement of Toni Kroos almost ended the golden generation of German football. Only Thomas Muller is left from that generation, but Muller also hinted about his retirement to a sports channel after the game. “There is a high probability that this was my last international match,” told the German footballer.

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On the other hand, Ronaldo’s Portugal squared off against Mbappé’s France. Cristiano Ronaldo’s magic is all but over in this Euro Cup 2024 after a heartbreaking 5-3 loss to a mighty France in the penalty shootout. Despite Ronaldo’s conversion in the shootout, Portugal couldn’t manage to win. More agile, France sneaked through to the round of the first four. Frenchman Theo Hernandez took the men in blue to the semi-final round with his crucial shootout of the match. João Félix of Portugal is also facing criticism as he missed the penalty in this decisive moment.

Portugal manager Roberto Martinez came in his support. “I can tell you the whole squad was supporting each other and only players who never shoot a penalty never miss. Joao has great control of the inside game, he worked hard to be there and this penalty is bad luck,” told Martinez. This loss also meant the end of Pepe, the 41-year-old great defender, as an international player. “Pepe is everything he showed in the tournament, not just during the matches but the way he works through training sessions, the way he supports his colleagues, his commitment,” said Martinez.

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