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Euro 2016 heads into the final four as Portugal meet Wales

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Euro 2016 heads into the final four as Portugal meet Wales

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Paula Vilaplana is our guide for Euro 2016:
“Hello and welcome back to Euro 2016, Lyon will host the first semi final when Portugal take on Wales for a place in Sunday’s final in Paris.

The game sees the Real Madrid duo of Gareth Bale and Christiano Ronaldo on opposite sides, lets look ahead to the big game.

Portugal go into the semi against Wales without really hitting form they have only won one match outright, that was against Croatia after extra time.

Still they are in the final four and with the talent of Ronaldo, Sanches, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma they have the firepower, but do they have the unity.

Pepe is a doubt with injury and William Carvalho is out suspended.

Jose Fonte knows the British game as he plays for Southampton:
“The Welsh don’t just play typical English football, they have players with excellent skills, that are at a very high level. So, we’re counting on a very difficult match, an ultra difficult match. We’re waiting for a battle.”

Wales are playing down the superstar Bale V Ronaldo hype and looking forward to a tough match in all departments.

A manager Chris Coleman explains:
“I don’t think Gareth Bale really needs to tell us about Cristiano Ronaldo, I think we all know about Cristiano Ronaldo. We’ve been watching him long enough so, like I said earlier, the players will know what they’re up against; not just about Ronaldo, they know all about the other Portugal players, they know all about Portugal. It won’t be just about one player.”

Wales are missing two key players for the clash, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey is out suspended and will be a major loss for the Welsh, also out is defender Ben Davis after picking up two yellow cards.

But the Welsh are far from downhearted.

The tournament is a shop window for Europe’s rising talents with the big clubs on the hunt for players.
Here are some of the surprise packages from the Euro 2016.
There were a few raised eyebrows when Bayern Munich spent €35m on the Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches, the fee making him the most expensive Portuguese player to leave the domestic Portuguese league. The 18-year-old is looking like the bargain of the summer.

His equaliser against Poland gave him the accolade as the youngest player to score in a knockout game at the European Championship.

“Hal” Robson-Kanu is a real Euro 2016 fairytale the player is currently without a club after being released by Reading earlier in the year.

That situation will change after his outstanding contribution to Wales’ momentous Euro 2016.

His goal against Slovakia in the opening game, crucial; his finish against Belgium spectacular.

Fans of West Ham United are well aware of the talent that is Dimitri Payet, the player had a fantastic season for the Hammers.

Payet has been a key performer for France, he galvanised the nation behind the team and the tournament when he scored a last minute beauty in the opening game against Romania.

German left back Jonas Hector has been quietly making a name for himself in France. The FC Köln man has been a regular fixture in the Köln defence and for a defender his nickname shows the respect in which he is held.

‘Mr Reliable’ came out of the shadows to score the winning penalty against Italy to
put his country into the semi final against France.

The pre-season transfer market doesn’t wait for the Euro’s to end. The big clubs have moved quickly to get their men.
So who’s gone where? And for how much?

The ego has landed in Manchester, Zlatan Ibrahimović, at the age of 34, has signed for United he arrived from PSG on a free. The Swede has won championships in four different leagues since he began as a professional with Malmo.

The player recently retired from international football after representing his country Sweden 116 times, scoring 62 goals.

Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak has signed for the French champions Paris St Germain from Seville for €45m.

The transfer is the highest ever paid for a Polish footballer beating the previous record of goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek signing for Liverpool for €7.4m in 2001.

Spanish star Nolito’s move from Celta Vigo to Manchester City for €18m is great news for skint Ecija Balompie in the lower leagues in Spain they receive €180,000 in compensation having trained Nolito between 2006 and 2008.

French international Samuel Umtiti is on his way from Lyon to Barcelona for around €20m the young defender impressed in his debut for France against Iceland.

Former Man United winger Nani is on the move to Valencia on a three-year deal
Nani, 29, left Manchester United for Fenerbahce last year.

A strong Euro has put the player back in the spotlight.”

How will the first semi final go well a poll of euronews journalists predict a Wales win 2-1 send us your thoughts using the #TheCornerScores.

Football goes on outside of France with Jose Mourinho in the hot seat at Man United and Unai Emery taking charge at Paris St Germain. We’ll leave you now, enjoy the semi, see you soon.”

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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