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Liverpool defender reacts to losing his international starting spot to Arsenal star

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate says he is eager to play for France at the 2024 European Championship after losing his place to Arsenal’s William Saliba.

The Gunners star played every minute in the Premier League last term and was rewarded with a starting role with the French national team in Germany.

France manager Didier Deschamps had reservations about Saliba heading into the tournament but has paired him alongside Dayot Upamecano in the heart of their defence.

Saliba played every minute of the three group-stage games, leaving Liverpool counterpart Ibrahima Konate watching from the sidelines.

“I am lucky to have my own self-reflection,” he admitted at a press conference ahead of the Belgium game. “I can bring a lot of positive things to the team.

“My role is to not show my frustration. I’m playing PlayStation, I am speaking with everyone, I am happy to be here, even if I want to be playing.

“I came with a lot of expectations – that’s part of football. I knew what my place was before the first match. It’s frustrating, but I know my role on and off the field.

“A 100 percent ‘Ibou’ would never have sat on the bench. I didn’t play for a month and a half! I prepare -, I almost passed out more than once.

“The preparation was very short. It’s part of football. It was a good lesson for me.”

France take on Belgium later in the last-16 on Monday and Saliba is expected to retain his spot.

Les Bleus have conceded once and kept two clean sheets at Euro 2024 and the Arsenal star has been crucial to their success at the back.

Saliba has completed 96% of his passes attempted under high-intensity pressure at the tournament (52/54) – the best completion rate of any player to have played a minimum of 50 passes.

He recorded the best pass success rate (96.5%) of any player in the group stage and will be hungry to do more during the rest of the tournament.

France are one of the favourites to win Euro 2024, and doing so will ensure Saliba ends the summer with his Arsenal heartbreak repaired.

Missing out on the Premier League title was a bitter pill to swallow for the Frenchman and his teammates after their incredible campaign.

He will be desperate to win the European Championship and keep proving himself to Deschamps.

This article was written by .

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