Ibrahima Konate hits back at William Saliba criticism before Euro 2024 semi final

William Saliba has impressed for France at Euro 2024 (Allstar via Getty)

Ibrahima Konate has hit back at criticism of Arsenal’s William Saliba ahead of France’s Euro 2024 semi final against Spain.

Before the start of the tournament, Konate was expected to partner Dayot Upamecano at the heart of France’s defence for Euro 2024.

However, Didier Deschamps has opted to start Saliba in all five of France’s games in the competition, while Les Blues have conceded just one goal in the tournament so far.

Saliba has been widely praised for his performances in Germany, in particular his solid display against Romelu Lukaku in France’s 1-0 win over Belgium in the last 16.

But not all have been impressed by Saliba, with a fan account dedicated to Konate highlighting a mistake by the Arsenal defender in the quarter-final win against Portugal on Friday.

But Konate himself replied to the clip of Saliba’s error, with the Liverpool defenderwriting 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 are now preparing for their Euro 2024 semi final against Spain at 8pm on Tuesday.

EURO 2024 FIXTURES

SEMI-FINALS

Spain vs France (July 9, 8pm)

Netherlands vs England (July 10, 8pm)

FINAL

Spain or France vs Netherlands or England (July 14, 8pm)

Deschamps’ side will play the winners of the second semi final between England and the Netherlands, which kicks off at 8pm on Wednesday night.

Speaking on Sunday, France midfielder, Youssouf Fofana, hit back at criticism of the team’s style of play under Deschamps as they have reached the semi final 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.’

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