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Today Transfer:Lakers has successfully signed Nikola Vucevic for €50 M deal…see..more…

Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers’ DeMar DeRozan pursuit gets clarity after free agency miss
Why didn’t it work out?

By Jay PostradoJul 8, 2024 at 8:20 PM ET
Kings DeMar DeRozan amid failed LeBron James Lakers NBA Free Agency pursuit
Rob Pelinka and the JJ Redick-led Los Angeles Lakers needed more firepower heading into the 2024-25 season. There was no better way to get that type of talent than to acquire it in NBA Free Agency. DeMar DeRozan was a top pick that was rumored to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The deal fell apart. What truly happened and why did the master of the midrange land with the Sacramento Kings instead?

It sounds like Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers front office did not push to get DeMar DeRozan in NBA Free Agency. Shams Charania outlined that there were only two big-name organizations that were fighting it out. The LeBron James-led squad was not one of them, via The Rally.

“It was really down to the Kings and Miami Heat as far as DeMar DeRozan’s next home. He really wanted to land in a competitive environment. Also, I’m told that he wanted to go back West at the end of the day. The Kings? They pushed the hardest, the fastest throughout free agency to get a deal done. They are a playoff contender, a team that’s trying to get to the cusp of being a title contender. The Kings owner really clinched this over their in-person meeting over the weekend in Sacramento,” the renowned NBA Insider said.

So, what did the Lakers do to try and land one of the best available players in NBA Free Agency? It seems like all Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office sat idly by and did not actually try to sign him.

“The Lakers never went beyond expressing just simple interest in DeRozan. There were no offers or tangible conversations,” Charania added.

What are the Lakers missing out on after DeMar DeRozan’s NBA Free Agency decision?
Jan 25, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) and guard D’Angelo Russell (1) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Kings will benefit a lot from DeMar DeRozan. Not only will he play inspired because he is closer to home on the West Coast, but his production has also gotten better. He played 79 games with the Chicago Bulls. DeRozan managed to knock down 48% of his shots from all three levels of scoring for 24 points. Not to mention, he also racks in 1.1 steals, 5.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per contest.

Those numbers and the way he treats NBA Free Agency also gave him a lot of acclaim across front offices in the NBA.

“So, this is the second straight free agency where perception-wise there is that thought, ‘Would DeMar DeRozan take less money in free agency? Was he going to have to take the mid-level exception to land at a destination?’ For the last two free agencies, he lands in a sign-and-trade. His last two deals have been a combined five years and $161 million. That speaks about DeMar DeRozan’s relationships, how he is known across the league, and the pedigree and respect he has from teams including the Sacramento Kings,” the insider concluded.

The Lakers have yet again failed to get a star in NBA Free Agency. Hopefully, they figure out the rotation soon before LeBron James and Anthony Davis get disgruntled with their lack of talent.

Jay Postrado is a sports writer for ClutchPoints, with expertise in covering the NBA, NFL, MLB, Tennis, and Formula 1. He also has bylines at Last Word on Sports and FanSided.

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Lakers Keyed On Reunion With Former $54 Million Guard in Free Agency: Report

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By Max Dible
Updated Jul 8, 2024 at 10:23am

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Spencer Dinwiddie, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers no longer appear in position to add a big-name free agent to the roster this summer because clearing the necessary cap space will prove difficult and most of the splash players have already signed elsewhere.

That doesn’t preclude L.A. from making a trade for a third star, either in the coming months or ahead of next February’s in-season deadline. Thus, in lieu of a major move in the present, the Lakers have turned their collective eye toward quality perimeter players who can aid in ball-handling duties and guard against more injury issues for point guard Gabe Vincent.

Jovan Buha and Shams Charania of The Athletic have reported that Los Angeles is looking hard at two players in particular — Spencer Dinwiddie, who was a member of the Lakers roster last season, as well as Gary Trent Jr., most recently of the Toronto Raptors.

“Gary Trent Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie are two names to watch for if the Lakers clear enough space to use their taxpayer midlevel exception [MLE], according to league sources,” Buha and Charania wrote in an article published on Sunday, July 7. “The Lakers’ roster stands at 15 players, meaning they need to make a consolidation trade if they want to open up a new roster spot.”

The taxpayer MLE is worth only $5.2 million, which will limit significantly the pool of players L.A. can target, assuming the franchise makes the low-level trade and salary adjustments necessary to open it up as a tool they can utilize to roster build.

Dinwiddie signed a three-year deal worth a total of $54 million in August 2021 with the Brooklyn Nets as part of a sign-and-trade agreement that sent him to the Washington Wizards. He subsequently played a stint with the Dallas Mavericks, during which he helped them to the Western Conference Finals in 2022.

After that, Dinwiddie returned to Brooklyn before a brief run with the Raptors. Toronto waived him at the trade deadline in February of this year, after which he signed a rest-of-season contract with the Lakers that paid him just north of $1.5 million.

For his career, the 31-year-old Dinwiddie averages 13.3 points 5.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game, per Basketball Reference. He is, however, a sub-par 3-point shooter at just 33.3% on 4.7 attempts per night over his 10-year NBA tenure.

SPORT | FOOTBALL

Spain vs France: Didier Deschamps hits out at Euro 2024 critics in new Kylian Mbappe injury update
Les Bleus looking for second consecutive final at major tournaments
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JONATHAN GORRIE
33 MINUTES AGO
Defiant France boss Didier Deschamps has insisted he does not care if people have been “bored” by his Euro 2024 semi-finalists.

Deschamps, who guided his country to World Cup glory in 2018, will send them into battle against in-form Spain in Munich on Tuesday evening with some onlookers less than impressed with the form they have shown in the competition so far.

Asked by a Swedish journalist at his pre-match press conference about accusations his team has played “boring” football, he said: “If you’re getting bored, you know what? Watch another game, that’s fine. You don’t have to watch, it’s fine. It’s a European Championship, it’s very difficult for everyone.

“Up until now, it has not been the same as in the past, but we do have the capability to share emotions, to make lots of French men and women happy though the results that we’ve been pulling out of the bag, especially in a period that has been quite difficult for our country.

“But I’m sorry if the Swedish are getting bored of our football. It doesn’t really bother me that much.”

Deschamps also backed star striker Kylian Mbappe, who came off during the quarter-final win over Portugal due to fatigue.

The Real Madrid-bound striker has been playing with a protective mask after suffering a broken nose during the first game of their campaign but Deschamps believes he is 100% fit for the game.

“He came off after 110 minutes, when it had already proven a tough game for him. There was no point in him staying on the pitch feeling tired,” Deschamps explained.

“Since, we’ve done everything to ensure he recovers and I’m convinced he’s fully ready to play from the start.”

READ MORE
Spain vs France: Randal Kolo Muani urges Les Bleus to step up attacking game for Euro 2024 semi-final
Spain vs France: Randal Kolo Muani urges Les Bleus to step up attacking game for Euro 2024 semi-final

Liverpool star Ibrahima Konate hits back at criticism of Arsenal defender William Saliba amid France battle
Liverpool star Ibrahima Konate hits back at criticism of Arsenal defender William Saliba amid France battle

France XI vs Spain: Confirmed Euro 2024 team news, predicted lineup and injury latest for semi-final
France XI vs Spain: Confirmed Euro 2024 team news, predicted lineup and injury latest for semi-final

France, who finished second behind Austria in Group D, have since edged past Belgium and, after a penalty shoot-out, Portugal, and midfielder Adrien Rabiot – back in the fold after suspension – is equally unconcerned as he attempts to exorcise the ghost of World Cup final defeat just over 18 months ago.

Rabiot said: “Whether we’re an interesting team to watch or not, the fact that we’re in the semi-finals speaks for itself. We want to lift the trophy after having got so close to the goal in 2022.”

Additional reporting from PA

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Done Deal:Sky announced Tottenham has signed Man City star to replace H.Son,Player medical on process presently.

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Ederson of Manchester City looks on as he celebrates with teammates on the Open Top Bus during the Manchester City trophy parade on May 26, 2024 in…Photo by Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images
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Al-Nassr have made their decision over whether to sign Ederson from Man City
Mon 8 July 2024 14:30
Srinivas Sadhanand
There could be much more clarity about Ederson Moraes’ future in a Manchester City shirt after Brazil were recently knocked out of the Copa America by Uruguay on penalties.

On Wednesday, it was claimed that while Ederson was “interested” in a potential move to Al-Nassr, he was still deciding where his future lay.

It was also claimed on Thursday that Al-Nassr were ready to pay weekly wages of £900,000-a-week to sign the Brazilian.

So far, it seemed like Ederson’s transfer to the Saudi Pro League club — who also have former Manchester City teammate Aymeric Laporte on their books seemed like a possibility.

READ MORE: Who is Ederson? Inside the life of Man City’s £35m maverick goalkeeper
Manchester City’s Brazilian goalkeeper #31 Ederson jumps to save from a corner kick during the English Premier League football match between Bright…
Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images
Al-Nassr now consider Alisson over Ederson as their top target
But as per journalist Rudy Galetti’s report for TEAMtalk, the status of the potential transfer has changed.

MORE MAN CITY STORIES
Firstly, Al-Nassr are believed to consider the £42 million price tag placed by Manchester City to sell Ederson as excessive.

The Saudi Arabian side intend to sign a top goalkeeper without paying too high a fee.

But due to the fact that Pep Guardiola’s men are unwilling to budge and considering Brazil have been eliminated from the Copa America, Al-Nassr have got back in contact with Alisson Becker.

The Liverpool number one has now become Al-Nassr’s prime target over Ederson — so much so that the club is in the “final stages” before sending a formal offer to sign the former Roma goalkeeper.

It has also been claimed that due to Alisson’s involvement at the Copa America and their negotiations with Ederson, the club’s move for a reinforcement in between the sticks were going too slowly.

But now Al-Nassr are ready to accelerate negotiations to sign Brazil’s number one — who has revealed in previous discussions that he intends to stay in Europe. But the report states that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Al-Nassr are prepared to enquire if Alisson’s thoughts on a move have either “softened” or changed as a whole.

Manchester City should be rejoicing if they can keep Ederson
From Manchester City’s perspective, they would be hoping that Al-Nassr can strike a deal to sign Alisson or any goalkeeper instead of Ederson.

City’s number 31 is one of their most important players and not many goalkeepers in the world are as well-rounded, experienced and natural fits in Guardiola’s system as he is.

The 30-year-old is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and last season, he had yet another top-class campaign.

Ederson’s potential departure would lead to the loss of not only a world-class player but also an extremely crucial figurehead in the dressing room.

As a result, Manchester City should be hoping that like Al-Nassr, other suitors for the six-time Premier League winner look elsewhere to sign a goalkeeper.

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William Saliba must surely be France’s standout performer at the Euros – How much would his transfer be worth
ARSENAL GAME REVIEW ARSENAL NEWS
William Saliba must surely be France’s standout performer at the Euros – How much would his transfer be worth
By Admin Pat – 7 July 2024, 17:45
France advanced to the Euro 2024 semi-finals after defeating Portugal on penalties (the French converted all of theirs, while Joao Felix failed to convert one of Portugal’s). While forwards often determine the outcome of games, the strength of the defence can ultimately determine the outcome, and that was so in the Portugal versus France game.

Of course, our Arsenal defender, William Saliba, continued to demonstrate his world-class abilities. The numbers speak for themselves; Saliba’s game statistics against Portugal are impressive.

Saliba’s game by numbers against Portugal:

48/49 passes completed
98% pass accuracy
8 clearances
2 blocks
4 recoveries
1 chance created
0 times dribbled past

What Gooners should admire about Saliba is his quiet demeanour; he simply silences the critics with world-class performances for his club and now with his national team. He possesses indisputable qualities, and he is almost always immaculate. Weeks before the Euros, it was amusing that he wasn’t starting for France, but now he’s cemented his place in the French starting lineup.

Fan fact: During this European Championship, the French surrendered zero goals from open play when Saliba started. Most Gooners may not want to be asked this, but should they be concerned that they may lose Saliba? Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain must be getting transfer ideas from watching him dazzle, but can you imagine what the 23 year-old would cost if Arsenal put him on the transfer market?

Daniel O

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3 Comments
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StephanieJuly 7, 2024 at 5:54 pm
Honestly, I don’t want to think of the possibility of him being transferred or how much he would be transferred for. He’s one of our best players and I like him too much LOL

Reply
Mususwa FaroukJuly 7, 2024 at 6:22 pm
Am an Arsenal fun but I keep on asking myself that in case Madrid or PSG came knocking with £200m, would Arsenal refuse such an offer?But we really need trophies then Saliba is a player you can’t lose at whatever price

Reply
EkeJuly 7, 2024 at 6:48 pm
Thinking Saliba’s transfer market price? Not now. Our focus is the trophy but then as a player, he can be sold if he or the club is willing for a goodbye at a good price.

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ANTOINE GRIEZMANN SET TO BE DROPPED FOR FRANCE’S EURO 2024 SEMI-FINAL AGAINST SPAIN

 

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France’s vice-captain Antoine Griezmann (33) is set to be dropped for France’s Euro 2024 semi-final against Spain, according to a report this Sunday from L’Equipe. Les Bleus will lock horns with La Roja this Tuesday at Munich with a spot in the final up for grabs. To counter Spain’s technical supremacy, France manager Didier Deschamps is pondering whether starting Antoine Griezmann, who has struggled so far in Germany, would prove beneficial.

The France manager is facing a conundrum as he has to field a starting XI capable of defending against what has arguably been the best team of the Euros whilst setting up a threatening attacking line that could take advantage of their opponents’ defensive flaws. This Tuesday at Munich, Luis de la Fuente won’t be able to rely on centre-back Robin Le Normand (27) and right-back Dani Carvajal (32), both suspended.

Adrien Rabiot set to return
Meanwhile, and despite Eduardo Camavinga’s (21) eye-catching performance against Portugal in Saturday’s quarter-final, Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot (29) is expected to return to the starting line-up after missing the quarter-final through suspension. The former PSG man is rested and expected to start alongside two defensive-minded midfielders, Aurélien Tchouaméni (24) and N’Golo Kanté (33). As for the strikers, Antoine Griezmann’s poor form at the Euros and Didier Deschamps’ need for pacey wingers against Spain may prove detrimental to him.

Ezoic
On the contrary, PSG winger Ousmane Dembélé (27) ticks the boxes for Deschamps’ requirements for Tuesday’s showdown. The former Barcelona man was awarded the Player of the Match trophy against Portugal for his lively cameo from the bench. Randal Kolo Muani (25) and Kylian Mbappé (25) are also set to start against Spain.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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France lineup vs. Spain: Predicted XI for Euro 2024 semi-final
By Jonathan O’Shea | 07 July 2024
Deschamps facing midfield dilemma: Predicted France lineup against Spain
Having ground their way to the Euro 2024 semi-finals, France will now vie with neighbours Spain for a place in Sunday’s European Championship decider.

Les Bleus reached the final four thanks to a tense penalty shootout win over Portugal, in a game that saw inspirational skipper Kylian Mbappe withdrawn before the end of extra time.

Already hampered by a disjointed end to his time with Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe has been a shadow of his former self since sustaining a nose injury against Austria, as wearing a protective mask has seemingly hindered him further.

Despite taking another blow to the face against Portugal, the Real Madrid striker is set to start up front once again, with Marcus Thuram, Randal Kolo Muani and Ousmane Dembele all hoping to feature in their captain’s supporting cast.

Also below his best this summer, Spain-based star Antoine Griezmann should still play a part in the final third, and a 17th European Championship appearance would take him past Lilian Thuram – dad of Marcus – as France’s record-holder for games at the continental finals.

Unlike Spain coach Luis de la Fuente, who will have two key men suspended on Tuesday, France boss Didier Deschamps has no such concerns and can even welcome back Adrien Rabiot from a one-match ban.

Eduardo Camavinga may therefore make way, while Aurelien Tchouameni and N’Golo Kante appear to have made themselves untouchable starters in midfield.

A settled back four, helmed by Arsenal’s William Saliba, is very unlikely to change, and Les Bleus’ number one is certainly undisputed.

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan made some important saves in the quarter-final and is very much in contention for UEFA’s team of the tournament, though no ‘Golden Glove’ award currently exists at the Euros.

France possible starting lineup: Maignan; Kounde, Saliba, Upamecano, Hernandez; Kante, Tchouameni, Rabiot; Griezmann; Kolo Muani, Mbappe

> Click here to see how Spain could line up for this semi-final contest

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SPAIN MUST LEARN KEY LESSONS BEFORE FRANCE GAME

Spain scraped past Germany in the quarter-final of the Euro 2024 but must take on some important lessons before they play France on Tuesday.

It took a 119th minute winner from Mikel Merino for Spain to crush German hearts and book their place in the semi-final. Despite Spain’s brilliance in the tournament so far, they were only seconds away from the game going to penalties, one of their clear weaknesses. By contrast, Germany haven’t lost a penalty shootout in 46 years and on home soil, you wouldn’t have bet against them.
Spain have probably been the best team at this tournament and they have constantly played high up the pitch, pressed, and looked threatening. To deal with their style of play, Germany employed the dark arts from kick off and the game was often stopped for free kicks. Spain were therefore unable to really get going. France will likely look to attempt a similar game-plan and try to stifle La Roja.

him. Dani Olmo, one of his potential replacements for the next game, was by contrast absolutely superb and won the player of the match award.

De la Fuente may opt for Olmo or Ferran Torres ahead of Joselu, due to France’s defence being so good that conventional strikers have so far struggled to make any impact against them. The game against Germany was undoubtedly Spain’s toughest so far and they will face another difficult game against the French.

Manchester City now considering £59m midfielder who Manchester United bid for this weekend

Manchester United might be looking to make a few new signings but they could face issues from the old enemy in Manchester City for one top target.

Both City and United are keen to strengthen their squads but so far, with the Euros going on, things have been relatively quiet in Manchester.

The Red Devils are yet to get going this summer but there are claims they are about to get busy in the market.

Joshua Zirkzee is set to sign from Bologna, while a deal for Matthijs de Ligt is also being pursued.

However, when it comes to signing a midfielder to bolster the ranks, it looks like United may have to fend off local rivals City.

Manchester City considering Joao Neves after Manchester United bid
Reports this weekend have claimed that United have made a move to sign Benfica star Neves.

It’s suggested the Red Devils have launched a £59m bid for the young midfielder who is one of the most in-demand young players in Europe.

However, a report from Portuguese outlet O’Jogo now claims that Man City are also in the mix for Neves.

Their report says Neves features on a list City have as they consider their options for if the likes of Kevin de Bruyne or Bernardo Silva depart.

Benfica are believed to value Neves at closer to the £100m mark so it seems likely the £59m offer from United will be rejected.

City, of course, have strong relations with the Portuguese market having signed the likes of Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and Ederson in the past.

For Neves, a move to City could be more appealing to him right now than United.

Champions League football, being in the mix for titles, and the chance to work with Pep Guardiola are all tempting factors.

United, then, will be hoping City go cold on Neves if they want to get their own deal over the line.

NEWSSPORT
Home › Sport › Football
Spain or France? Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman reveals who he wants to avoid in Euro 2024 final

Chris Davie
Published Jul 7, 2024, 1:07pm
Updated Jul 7, 2024, 1:08pm

Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands side came from behind to beat Turkey in the Euro 2024 quarter final (Shutterstock)
Ronald Koeman says he would rather see his Netherlands side play Spain instead of France in the Euro 2024 final.

The Netherlands came from behind to beat Turkey 2-1 in their quarter final on Saturday evening, which has set up a semi-final tie against England at 8pm on Wednesday.

In the other Euro 2024 semi final on Tuesday night, Spain will play France to decide who will reach the final on July 14.

The Netherlands drew 0-0 with France in their second game in Group D on June 21 and for that reason, Koeman admits he would prefer to play Spain in the final if his team manage to beat England in the semis.

‘I think for the whole nation it’s something special,’ Koeman said after the Netherlands’ win against Turkey.

‘We are a small nation and we are part of the semi final with England, France and Spain and we are really proud to get the opportunity to play in the semi final on Wednesday.

Spain will play France in their Euro 2024 semi final on Tuesday night (AFP via Getty)
‘We had to suffer tonight [against Turkey] but that’s the whole Euro, there is not an easy one.

‘First of all, we need to fight first to win the semi final.

‘I think in life it’s not the question when something happens, it will be a great night on Wednesday between two big nations, history wise.

‘If we play in the final, my personal preference, of course, is Spain because we had France in the group.

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‘But first of all we need to prepare ourselves in the best way to play the semi final.’

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Koeman also played down suggestions that extra time and penalties against Switzerland will cause extra fatigue for England ahead of the semi final.

‘If you win the match that always gives a good feeling,’ Koeman said.

‘We need to recover, like England. It is not a physical difference between them and us.

‘We played on the same day, we need to travel like them. It is not the physical [aspect] that will decide the result.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Jermaine Jenas accuses Rio Ferdinand of ‘LYING’ in awkward exchange between the BBC pundits during live coverage of France’s victory against Portugal at Euro 2024
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15:19 BST 06 Jul 2024, updated 19:10 BST 06 Jul 2024
By Daniel Davis
Rio Ferdinand and Jermaine Jenas were on punditry duty for the quarter-final tie
The duo debated William Saliba’s performance but disagreed on one key point
Follow live coverage of England’s Euro 2024 showdown with Switzerland HERE
Jermaine Jenas accused Rio Ferdinand of lying in an awkward exchange between the two pundits during France’s victory against Portugal at Euro 2024.

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Les Bleus knocked out Cristiano Ronaldo and Co in a dramatic penalty shootout last night after Joao Felix saw his effort, the only miss, hit the woodwork.

Both sides missed several chances in a tense goalless stalemate but Ferdinand highlighted Saliba’s performance, insisting it was worthy of being ‘marvelled at’.

Saliba impressed for Arsenal during the 2023-24 season and has been ever-present under Didier Deschamps at international level after belatedly breaking through.

Jenas, however, believes the centre back was not tested enough by Portugal.

Jermaine Jenas accused Rio Ferdinand of lying in an awkward exchange live on the BBC
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Jermaine Jenas accused Rio Ferdinand of lying in an awkward exchange live on the BBC
Ferdinand and Jenas debated during coverage of France’s Euro 2024 win against Portugal
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Ferdinand and Jenas debated during coverage of France’s Euro 2024 win against Portugal
William Saliba was the subject of the discussion with Jenas insisted he was not tested enough
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William Saliba was the subject of the discussion with Jenas insisted he was not tested enough
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‘We spoke about Saliba before the game,’ Ferdinand began.

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PLAYER RATINGS: Which France forward struggled? And Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have the legs
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‘The way he has commanded that box and any individual battle he has and any duel he is having he is coming out on top. He’s just looked so formidable and so commanding.

‘For somebody so young, in his first tournament, to show this kind of authority, I think is something to marvel at.’

Jenas then replied: ‘I think this is a stretch. There’s not been any real players put under major pressure to defend.’

Looking to press home his case, Ferdinand added: ‘I think three balls have been put into the box and he’s headed them out of the penalty box.

‘That’s something you have to do. You think that’s just normal stuff, you see a lot of people not doing it, you still have to do it.’

Saliba was able to hold off Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates before the penalty shootout
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Saliba was able to hold off Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates before the penalty shootout
Joao Felix missed the crucial spot-kick with his effort from 12 yards hitting the woodwork
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Joao Felix missed the crucial spot-kick with his effort from 12 yards hitting the woodwork
France fans celebrate team’s victory over Portugal
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Jenas let loose a sly dig, stating ‘that is his job’, leading Ferdinand to hit back.

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He said: ‘Yeah, this is a midfielder talking who was always shouting, “Where are you? Can you get up? Can you help me?”‘

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That, in turn, prompted Jenas to accuse him of lying.

‘That’s a lie. That is a lie,’ Jenas said.

‘There’s only one person who defenders call on when they’re in trouble, and it’s a midfielder.’

Les Bleus will play Spain in the semi-finals after the latter beat hosts Germany, Mikel Merino heading home an extra-time winner in the 119th minute.

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In the other half of the draw, England face Switzerland this evening with a spot in the final four on the line. The Netherlands will take on Turkey, meanwhile.

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Ousmane Dembele’s attitude to France penalties speaks volumes about Euro 2024 chances
PORTUGAL 0-0 FRANCE (3-5 on penalties): Joao Felix was the fall guy for Portugal as France booked their place in the last four with five perfect penalties in Hamburg

Dembele scored the first of France’s penalties (Image: UEFA via Getty Images)
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09:11, 6 Jul 2024
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Ousmane Dembele insists he was always confident goal-shy France would get the better of Portugal despite their dreadful recent penalty shootout record – even though some of the players stepping up had never taken a spot kick before.

France set up a last four meeting with Spain at the Euros after pipping the Portuguese in Hamburg, where Joao Felix’s strike against the post proved crucial. Didier Deschamps’ side scored a perfect five out of five from the spot just days after Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa had saved all three Slovenia kicks he faced in the last-16 shootout.

The win marked France’s first penalty success since they beat Italy en route to winning the 1998 World Cup, when Deschamps was captain. It was a sorry run which had included defeats in the 2006 and 2022 World Cup finals and elimination from Euro 2020 at the hands of Switzerland.

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Gary Lineker doesn’t hold back with brutal verdict on Joao Felix’s penalty miss
With Kylian Mbappe off the pitch still struggling with the after-effects of the broken nose he suffered in France’s first match against Austria, it was livewire substitute Dembele – who admitted he was “stung” not to start the game – who took their first kick.

He slotted home effortlessly, and said he always felt he would do. “We had practised penalties and felt confident going into them,” said Dembele.

“The Qatar World Cup final loss helped us in that respect. I think we all took the goalkeeper by surprise because we sent him the wrong way.”

Dembele was always confident France would prevail ( Image: UEFA via Getty Images)
In contrast to their coolness from the spot, France have scored just three goals in their five games in Germany, with two of those being own goals scored by the opposition and the third a penalty netted by Mbappe against Poland. But an unrepentant Dembele isn’t concerned.

“That’s how it is,” he said. “We play like that, those who are not happy, that’s not my problem.

“We’ve scored three goals but we are here in the semi-finals. It is the solidity of this team that means we are still here today.”

As he seeks to solve the problems in front of goal, Deschamps might have just found some unlikely goalscorers.

Portugal boss makes Cristiano Ronaldo retirement point after heartbreaking full-time gesture
France break unbelievable record after beating Portugal to reach Euro 2024 semi-finals
As well as Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann had also been substituted against Portugal, while Olivier Giroud wasn’t introduced from the bench in time.

That all made for a fairly inexperienced set of penalty takers, with defender Jules Kounde and 21-year-old attacker Bradley Barcola having never taken a senior competitive penalty before either in matches or shootouts.

For Barcelona defender Kounde the fact that Spain are up next makes the victory all the sweeter. “I’m looking forward to it. There will be some familiar faces against me. I’m happy they’ve qualified,” he said.

France will now face Spain in the semi-finals ( Image: AFP via Getty Images)
“They’re playing well and have a team that is both capable of holding possession and taking it without giving it up. Above all, we’ll have to recover well after this tough match.

“They’ll be a playful opponent, and they like to exploit space and with dangerous wingers, including Lamine Yamal, who I know well. They’re a complete team. We’ll have to bring the same intensity. And score.”

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BREAKING NEWSAndy Murray’s private response to Emma Raducanu ending his Wimbledon career

Breaking: English FA finally ripped off Man City 3 EPL title of last three seasons for an offense of match fixing as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool will be giving one each

Man City boss Pep Guardiola booed as he joins sporting legends at Wimbledon
Pep Guardiola is watching tennis action at Wimbledon on Saturday, joining a host of football, cricket and Olympic stars in the Royal Box at Centre Court.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: Pep Guardiola and Leah Williamson attend day six of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 06, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Guardiola was announced to the Centre Court crowd alongside England Women’s captain Leah Williamson.
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Pep Guardiola’s name was playfully booed as he took his seat at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Guardiola was one of a host of sporting stars watching Centre Court from the Royal Box as he enjoyed his penultimate weekend of the summer before Manchester City return for pre-season next week.

And according to BBC Sport, when Guardiola took his seat and City’s four consecutive Premier League titles with Manchester City were announced, there were a ‘few boos’ from the crowd on Centre Court ahead of the clash between Brit Cameron Norrie and German Alexander Zverev. There were also plenty of cheers in a good-natured atmosphere.

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Guardiola attended the All England Club alongside wife Cristina, and was present alongside former England manager Roy Hodgson – the pair holding a strong relationship from their battles in the Premier League over recent seasons. England women’s captain Leah Williamson was also in the Royal Box, alongside England cricket trio Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler – plus India legend Sachin Tendulkar.

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A range of Olympic legends including Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Jason Kenney, Dame Laura Kenny, Sir Ben Ainslie, Adam Peaty, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were in the royal box, along with Paralympic athletes Hannah Cockroft and Kadeena Cox. Rugby Union’s Lawrence Dallaglio and Sir Gareth Edwards took their seats in a star-studded, sporting-themed group.

Guardiola has often spoken of his love for tennis, describing the final three points needed to win a title similar to the Championship point at Wimbledon being the toughest point to win. He has often described City’s battles with Liverpool as like the three-way battle between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, with each rival pushing the other to be better.

He spoke this year of Federer and Nadal being his inspirations, saying: “There is one detail that defines them, it is how hard they work. People believing when you are on top of any sport, it is [due to] talents and skills. But what would define [them] is they work harder than the other ones, they prepare better than the other ones. They are the best.

“They are never satisfied and how they accept the bad moments or the defeats like it’s normal in life, in a sport and how to win the games and how they accept they are nervous or they are playing bad, how they come back immediately.”

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