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Euro 2012 Day 18 LIVE - The four semi-finalists are here!
England once again lost out on penalties and as aresult Italy joined Portugal, Germany and Spain to make it into the final four. Follow the day's reaction, analysis and build-up with Goal.com and send us your thoughts @goal_india on Twitter and Facebook.

00:15 IST


And that's all we have for you tonight. Join us again tomorrow for our in-depth coverage of the Euros. Till then, goodnight. And take care.

00:00 IST


23:45 IST


The Italian media, especially Sky Sport 24, have been hammering Uefa today over their fixture scheduling. Calling it ridiculous that Germany and Portugal have two days extra rest than Italy and Spain respectively for such a big game as the semi final of the Euros. One day is understandable, but two days is scandalous considering the fact that teams had 5-6 day breaks between the final group game and the knockouts. Puts Spain and Italy at a massive disadvantage, especially Italy who now go into the Germany game exhausted after 120 minutes with lots of injury problems, unlike their opponents who have had a massive six day break. Not to mention that Germany have stayed in Poland from the quarters to the semis, whereas Italy have had to fly from Ukraine to Poland.

23:30 IST


Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets played with former Betis and Liverpool midfielder Miki Roque, who lost his battle with pelvic cancer on Sunday at the age of 23, in the youth system at Catalan club Lleida and the Barcelona player expressed his shock and sadness on Monday. He wrote in an open letter published by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF):
“After hearing the tragic news of the death of a team-mate, I wanted to give all my support and strength to the family and friends of Miki Roque. A great person has gone, a great sportsman, an example to everyone but, above all, a great team-mate, one with whom I shared many moments which I will never forget, has left us. After being left in a state of shock and realising how unfair life is, in these moments I have just one thought, to do everything possible to dedicate this triumph that we are all fighting for, to him.
RIP Miki"

23:15 IST


Mesut Ozil: "Our goal is to bring the title back to Germany and I think we can accomplish that.  We are more mature and consistent than in 2010 and think we have developed well ... The coach and I are happy with my performances so far.  I am happy with my performance against Greece.  My team did well to support me there.  But I can do even better and will show that against the Italians ... We need Bastian [Schweinsteiger], he is an important leader, world class."  He is important to the team ... Balotelli is a class player.  We have to pay special attention to him."

22:55 IST


Andreas Kopke:
"We won't let the past affect us and want to write our own history ... Statistics don't interest us ... Gianluigi Buffon belongs to the best goalkeepers in the world.  It is great, in Buffon, Casillas and Neuer, to have the three best in the world in the semi finals. We can find out now who the very best is ... Pirlo had a great game.  He took a bold penalty and showed strong nerves.  He was Italy's best player ... To practice penalty shootouts is impossible. You can't simulate the pressure in training where you score them regularly without problems. But we have a very strong team in terms of nerves."

22:45 IST


Del Bosque on criticism: "I haven't listened to it all. I have read things on the Internet but I don't have the feeling I am being persecuted. I have the sensation of receiving warmth and I don't believe in conspiracies. I would be embarrassed and ashamed to use my CV to defend myself. Up until now we have fulfilled [expectations]. We showed authority against France and we were only under threat in that one action with the Rakitic header that Casillas saved [versus Croatia]. The important thing is to have control of the game in defence and attack. We have an enviable team."

22:35 IST


Del Bosque on options in attack: "We have brought four strikers with us and all of them can play."

22:25 IST


Chiellini confident of being fit to face Germany

The versatile Juventus centre-back strained his left hamstring midway through the second half of the Azzurri's 2-0 victory over Republic of Ireland in their final group game.

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22:14 IST


The Manchester City boss believes the Azzurri and Portugal will surprise many by beating Germany and reigning champions Spain in the semi-final

“The final will be between Italy and Portugal,” Mancini told Radio RAI.

22:04 IST


Cabaye continues: "Nothing ever happened between Olivier Giroud & Samir Nasri. I don't know why people keep writing about this. None of it is true."

So there. Nothing happened?!

22:01 IST


Handsome devil Yohan Cabaye has been speaking to RMC after France's exit at the hands of Spain...

"Against Spain, we knew that it would be a complicated game where we didn't have much of the ball, but we thought that we would have two or three chances. But it is true that, in the end, there is some frustration.

"There was definitely a lack of ambition. Although it had been a little better in the second half, we didn’t put them in too much difficulty. The coach chose a tactic to defend well, but it is true that, in the end, when we saw the chances, they were not enormous, and we may have regrets."

*sigh* He's such a dreamboat...

21:56 IST


You know what Itlay coach Cesare Prandelli said? The following...

"We had 68 % possession against England. Our style of play is not a defensive one.

"Germany have had two days extra to recover. This is a big handicap for us.

"Germany are the favourites. We must prepare well the small details.

"Yesterday was the hardest game of the tournament so far for Cassano"

21:46 IST


An apology from Cesc Fabregas and for what!?

Spainish Expert Ben Hayward tells us that, "Spain fans were left somewhat annoyed as the team walked off after beating France on Saturday without thanking them for their support.

Apart from captain Iker Casillas and a couple of tepid claps at the final whistle, Spain's players made their way to the dressing room without showing their appreciation to the supporters and Cesc Fabregas has now apologised.

"It's true we should have shown more joy with the fans," he said at a press conference on Monday. "Sometimes we are under such pressure and maybe we wanted to transmit calm, and we forgot a little about our fans, who make such a big effort to come and support us.

"If you were offended then please forgive us - it won't happen again. And let's hope we can celebrate passage to the final together on Wednesday."

21:38 IST


TRANSFER NEWS relating to the Premier League. Montpellier president, Louis Nicollin, has confirmed Olivier Giroud's move to Arsenal.

"I wish him success, as he's a good guy," Nicollin told Midi Libre.

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21:26 IST



has had more shots in Euro 2012 than the entire England squad. 30 v 29.

Like to say wow now?!

21:24 IST


And more from the rest of the chitter-chattering Spanish:

Pedro: "We are not scared of him. He is in great form, just like he has been all season. He is a very important player who can be decisive - we will have to be very attentive. Portugal are not just Cristiano, but we will have to defend well against him."

Pique: "He is one of the best players in the world and if we want to stop him we cannot think of individual duels, but instead concentrate on working collectively."

Casillas: "I don't think he is at his very best because he had an incredible season with Real Madrid. But Cristiano is, along with Messi, the best player in the world. The ball moves a bit strangely, not as much as the famous Jabulani (from World Cup) but if you hit it full and with power there is always a strange curl that can fool you. So we will have to prevent [giving away free-kicks]."

Can't wait for Ronaldo's retort. Hopefully it's delivered in this pose:

21:14 IST


Turn back to Spain v Portugal. Spanish players have all given their view on how to stop Ronaldo:

Busquets: "It's not Barcelona-Madrid, it's Spain-Portugal. And we all know what a great player Cristiano is. He will mostly be in the zone defended by Alvaro [Arbeloa] and Alvaro knows him better than anyone (they are team-mates at Real Madrid). But to stop a player of this kind you need the whole team to work."

Xavi: "We will have to be very attentive. Arbeloa is a great full-back, one of the best around defensively. We will try to cover as well, make Cristiano uncomfortable and not allow him to turn."

21:04 IST


Redknapp's also stated that Wilshere can be England's Pirlo. Quite a statement!

We do miss him don't we. He's the modern midfielder we lack - a dynamic, passer and mover.

20:58 IST


Jordi Alba continues to shine as M'Vila crashes out. Elsewhere, Joao Moutinho put in a classy display for Portugal, Dimitris Salpingidis did his best to halt the German juggernaut and Olivier Giroud continued to disappoint.

You must be well aware that all of England's players have come from their own domestic leagues, but Goal.com decides to focus on how the PL's targets fared (from other countries)