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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Tom Cavilla

Why Ibrahima Konate missed France dressing room celebrations after reaching World Cup final

Ibrahima Konate saw his post-match celebrations put on hold following France's World Cup semi-final triumph over Morocco on Wednesday night.

Goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani helped Les Blues reach back-to-back finals on football's biggest stage as the Atlas Lions saw their remarkable journey in the competition come to an end.

Central to France's victory was none other than Liverpool defender Konate, who put in a highly impressive performance after being called into the starting eleven due to Dayot Upamecano suffering with an illness ahead of kick-off.

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Repaying Didier Deschamps' decision to hand him an appearance in a game of this magnitude, the 23-year-old did not let the occasion get the better of him as he limited Morocco to only a handful of opportunities as a result of his positional awareness and communication with fellow central defender Raphael Varane.

But a delay followed for Konate after his assured display, however, due to being selected for doping tests alongside Jules Kounde following the full-time whistle. "We can't even celebrate," the Reds' centre-back jokingly said as he filmed his teammate behind the scenes. "It sucks," Kounde replied.

Lavishing praise on Liverpool's No.5 for his role in France setting up a showdown with Argentina on Sunday afternoon, the French edition of Eurosport awarded him an 8.5 rating and said: “He entered the [starting] 11 with conviction. This Wednesday, he did everything to disgust Moroccans who insisted on his side.

“The young central defender saved countless situations but we will remember the sliding tackle in front of [Achraf] Hakimi (44th minute) and his interception in front of En Nesyri (54th minute). He diffused a power and serenity that kept the Blues in the game. To his credit, an opening of 45 metres for Giroud. A very, very great game. In short, how do we get him out of the 11?”


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