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breaking news

  • On the bill: France-Switzerland and Croatia-Spain

The France team celebrates Karim Benzema's first goal, in the draw against Portugal (2-2), Wednesday, June 23, in Budapest.

After the aperitif, make way for the main courses. The Blues challenge Switzerland this Monday, June 28, in Bucharest (9 p.m.), in the round of 16 of this Euro. Largely favorites, they will have to increase their level of play compared to the group stage, punctuated by a victory and two draws. The attacking trio Antoine Griezmann-Karim Benzema-Kylian Mbappé will be scrutinized, while he still seems to be looking for his marks.

Against the reigning world champions and vice-European champions, Nati will have nothing to lose, she who has never gone beyond the round of 16 of the competition (in 2016). The Swiss snatched their qualification by finishing third in group A, thanks to a single victory against Turkey (3-1). Big piece in sight for the winner of the poster, since he will face Croatia or Spain.

France-Switzerland, Monday June 28 at 9 p.m. in Bucharest, and to follow live on Lemonde.fr

This confrontation will take place a little earlier today (6 p.m.), in Copenhagen. Arrival without certainty at the Euro, La Roja did not give it more during its first two meetings of the competition, two draws. But Luis Enrique’s players accelerated against the Slovaks they scattered 5-0, to take second place in Group E.

Opposite, Croatia had a similar course: two somewhat dull performances (a defeat against England, a draw against the Czech Republic), a victory against Scotland to ensure their qualification. And, there too, a second place in the group to join the part of the table “of death”, that which also includes France, Italy, Belgium … The Croats seem to have settled and are ready to face the Roja .

Croatia-Spain, Monday June 28 at 6 p.m. in Copenhagen, and to follow live on Lemonde.fr

Luka Modric celebrates his goal against Scotland in Glasgow on June 22.

From the outside of his foot, Luka Modric recalled what type of player he was. The Croatian midfielder, author of a sumptuous goal in his group stage victory against Scotland (3-1), is still the flagship player of his selection, despite his 35 springs. The Spaniards know this better than anyone, enjoying almost every weekend since 2012 from the technique of the Real Madrid midfielder.

Strangely enough, however, Modric will not cross any Merengue team-mate during this Spain-Croatia, since none have been selected by La Roja coach Luis Enrique. But that is not likely to reduce the motivation of the former Tottenham, who knows he is living one of his last international campaigns with Croatia.

Belgium-Portugal: 1-0. Belgium qualified for the quarter-finals against the run of the game as the Portuguese had most of the chances and pushed hard late in the game. But the Red Devils were the most realistic, opening the scoring with an overpowering shot from Thorgan Hazard in the 42e minute. A bitter victory for the Belgians, who lost Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard to injuries, uncertain against Italy.

Czech Republic-Netherlands: 2-0. Big surprise in Budapest. At the end of a lively match, the Oranjes, one of the favorites of the competition, were eliminated by surprising Czechs. Fairly balanced, the match changed to 55e minute with the expulsion of defender Matthijs de Ligt, guilty of a voluntary hand in the position of last defender. The Czech Republic then scored thanks to Holes (68e), then the inevitable Patrick Schick (80e), who already has 4 goals in the tournament.

  • Meanwhile, Gareth Bale is still so unclear about his future

One thing is certain, Gareth Bale is no longer at the Euro after Wales lost in the round of 16 to Denmark on Saturday. For the rest, it is difficult to say what will be the future of the attacker. After the match, a BBC reporter tried to find out more by asking the 31-year-old if this match was the last of his international career.

The question did not please the captain of the Red Dragons – under contract with Real Madrid until 2022, but on loan at Tottenham this season in an attempt to revive his career -, who immediately ended the interview without leaving the reporter the opportunity to finish his question. Before the start of the Euro, he had been enigmatic: “I know what I’m doing, but it will only wreak havoc if I say anything. “

  • In the skylight: France champion of Europe according to Mario Kart

Paul the octopus has been followed. Star tipster at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, the animal has found a successor on social networks. A videographer had fun playing the results of the Euro by placing figurines from the Mario Kart universe on a treadmill in action, to see who would last the longest. Spoiler alert: the final should oppose Germany and France, with a final victory for the Blues. Thanks Luigi!

  • A corner of blue sky: Didier Deschamps, heat and travel

Since their debut in Munich, the Blues have been taken to the individual marking by the hot weather, whether in Budapest and Bucharest since Friday with temperatures close to 35 degrees. Asked about this at a press conference on Sunday, Didier Deschamps tried to put this parameter into perspective: “We suffer more than anything else. We try to limit fatigue and optimize recovery. With these very high temperatures, the organisms were very stressed. But don’t count on me to talk about inequality ”, swept the coach.

To each his own problems in this Euro. “Other teams have had very long journeys. This is the case for Switzerland », Deschamps notes. With 10,466 kilometers traveled between Rome, Baku and Bucharest now, the Nati is the big traveler of this Euro. In the event of victory against France, the Helvetii still risk to turn the clock with a quarter-final is organized in Saint-Petersburg … 2,137 km from Bucharest.

“It’s great when the stadium is against you and you can silence the supporters”

Before the round of 16 which will pit Germany and England against Wembley on Tuesday, Robin Gosens, left side of the German selection, is ready to face a predominantly English audience. “For us, it is an additional motivation”, explained the player of Atalanta Bergamo, Sunday in a press conference.

  • Covidometer: Perisic package against Spain

Croatia have just lost their top scorer before the round of 16 of Euro 2021, against Spain. Tested positive for Covid-19, Ivan Perisic must observe a period of isolation of ten days and will therefore be absent to face Roja. Scorer against the Czech Republic and Scotland, the Inter Milan winger will not return if the Croats qualify for the quarter-finals or the semi-finals.

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