Aston Villa ace makes 'magical' admission after dreams come true

Ezri Konsa impressed for England against Switzerland
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ezri Konsa says his first start at a major tournament with England was a "magical experience" as the Three Lions advanced to the Euro 2024 semi-finals by beating Switzerland on penalties.

The Aston Villa centre-back impressed in the 78 minutes he played, misplacing just one of the 47 passes he attempted, winning each of his four ground duels and also making seven clearances. England fell behind in the 75th minute when Breel Embolo converted from close range, before Bukayo Saka took the game to extra-time.

Konsa has made more blocks per 90 (1.9) and clearances per 90 (6.8) than any other England player at the Euros this summer. He may be taken out of the XI for Wednesday's semi-final against the Netherlands as Marc Guehi has served his suspension, but will be proud of the part he has played under Gareth Southgate up until this stage of the competition.

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"It was a magical experience, something that I've dreamt about as a kid," Konsa said. "I've wanted to play in these games and I'm grateful to the gaffer for putting me in.

"The main thing is we got the win. It was a very emotional game today but we managed to do it."

After Cole Palmer bagged the first penalty of the shoot-out and Jordan Pickford saved Manuel Akanji's spot-kick, England scored their following four pens to advance to the last four.

"It was never in doubt, especially with the boys who took them," Konsa admitted. "They were very confident.

"It was something that we've been working on for quite a while now because you never know. We knew we were ready if it got to that and you could see it worked."

The centre-back added: "It depends on us. If we continue to show that spirit and togetherness, I'm sure we can win it all."

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