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HomeSports´We have fought like lions´ - Koeman proud despite Euro 2024 semi-final...

´We have fought like lions´ – Koeman proud despite Euro 2024 semi-final exit – Soccer News

´We have fought like lions´ – Koeman proud despite Euro 2024 semi-final exit – Soccer News


Ronald Koeman is proud of the Netherlands, who he says, “fought like lions”, despite missing out on a place in the Euro 2024 final.

The Oranje were minutes away from going to extra time when Ollie Watkins scored England’s winner in the 90th minute after Harry Kane had cancelled out Xavi Simons’ early opener.

Koeman’s side were bidding to reach their first Euros final since they won the tournament back in 1988, but narrowly missed out on the showpiece meeting with Spain in Berlin.

It was their fifth defeat in six semi-finals in the competition, but the Dutch head coach instead chose to focus on the positives from their campaign.

“We should be proud because we’ve achieved many things in these weeks and there’s no criticism after seeing how my player fought until the end,” Koeman told reporters after the match.

“We have fought like lions. We just needed a little more balance and the English team did it better than us, so congratulations to them.

“I have to thank my players because they believed in something, and it was good to see that.

“Although now, it’s too late. We can’t do anything with that feeling, but in the future, we will come back stronger.”

The Netherlands have not reached the final of a major tournament since the 2010 World Cup, losing to Spain on that occasion.

Koeman’s optimistic outlook stretched to the future, as he turned his attention to what they could accomplish at the 2026 World Cup.

“I believe our team are able to do more and there are also players who will join us in the future,” Koeman added. “Some people were not able to play because they were not fit.

“We have worked in a proper way together; it was important, and it gave us a path to follow. We have to improve some aspects as well, but I think we were really close to the finals.

“I wish I could see them playing in the final, but it’s not possible. And I feel so sorry about that.”

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