England teenager Bukayo Saka has thanked fans for their support following his penalty miss in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 defeat to Italy on Sunday.
Saka saw his decisive kick saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in Sunday’s shootout at Wembley, following on from earlier misses from Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
All three players were almost immediately subject to vile racist abuse online, which has been condemned by the FA.
And on Thursday Saka broke his silence, taking to social media to post: “I have stayed away from social media for a few days to spend time with my family and reflect on the last few weeks. This message won’t do it justice how grateful I am for all the love that I have received, and I feel that I need to thank everyone who has supported me.
“It was an honour to be part of an @England squad that leads by example, they are brothers for life and I’m grateful for everything that I have learnt from every one of the players and staff who worked so hard. To help that team reach our first final in 55 years, seeing my family in the crowd, knowing what they’ve given up to help me get there, that meant everything to me.
“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty. I really believed we would win this for you. I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring it home for you this year, but I promise you that we will give everything we’ve got to make sure this generation knows how it feels to win.
“My reaction post match said it all, I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down, but I can promise you this.. I will not let that moment or the negativity that I’ve received this week break me.
“For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well – I’m so thankful. This is what football should be about. Passion, people of all races, genders, religions and backgrounds coming together with one shared joy of the rollercoaster of football.”
He also sent a direct message to social media platforms who have allowed the racist abuse to take place.
He added: “To the social media platforms @instagram@twitter@facebook I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me Marcus and Jadon have received this week. I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.
“There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.
Saka’s club Arsenal were also quick to release a statement condemning the abuse of the teenager as well as Rashford and Sancho, saying: “Once again, we are sad to have to say we condemn the racism towards a number of black players.
“This cannot continue and the social media platforms and authorities must act to ensure this disgusting abuse to which our players are subjected on a daily basis stops now.
“We have processes in place internally at Arsenal to ensure our players are supported both emotionally and practically on this issue but sadly there is only so much we can do.
“Our message to Bukayo is: hold your head high, we are so very proud of you and we cannot wait to welcome you back home to Arsenal soon.”
Chelsea set new EPL record after beating Brentford
Chelsea on Saturday set a new Premier League record after beating their London rival Brentford 1-0 in an away Premier League tie.
The Blues defeated the newly-promoted Brentford, thanks to Ben Chilwell’s 45th-minute strike.
The win over Brentford means Chelsea have now become the first club from the English capital to win seven consecutive away London derbies in English Football League history.
Chelsea are now on top of the Premier League table with 19 points from eight fixtures.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are one point ahead of second position Liverpool and two points ahead of third-place Manchester City.
Chelsea will tackle Malmo on Wednesday in a UEFA Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge.
‘Mohamed Salah now better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’, Jurgen Klopp insists
Jurgen Klopp insists Mohamed Salah is now the best player in the world football after his latest moment of magic.
Just two weeks after his breathtaking strike against Manchester City, the Egyptian King scored another wonderful solo effort in a 5-0 demolition of Watford.
The goal left Jermaine Jenas purring on co-commentary with those watching in awe of his magic.
It was Salah’s 10th goal of the season after a stunning run of form whilst he also provided assists for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
After the game, manager Jurgen Klopp was asked where he ranks amongst the best in the world.
And he was in little doubt he deserves the top spot on current form – despite the past performances of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asked where Salah ranks in his BT Sport interview, Klopp replied: “Top. Come on, we all see it, who’s better than him in this moment?
“That’s clear, there’s always this discussion and all these kinds of things.
“But we don’t have to talk about what Ronaldo and Messi did for world football or how long they were really in the dominant.
“In the moment I think it’s clear there’s nobody better than him. How it is, it’s not only since yesterday, he’s been in that shape for a while.
“He’s young enough to keep the shape a little bit longer.”
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Leicester 4-2 Man Utd: Foxes add to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s misery
Leicester City ended Manchester United’s 29-game unbeaten run away from home at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds Devils took an early lead through a stunning Mason Greenwood goal but Youri Tielemans’ spectacular equaliser made it 1-1 just after the half-hour mark.
A faltering and lethargic United had David De Gea to thank for some late interventions in the hope of ensuring United came away from the match with a point.
But Caglar Soyuncu’s late strike appeared to have snatched the Foxes all three points before Marcus Rashford swiftly equalised on his return to action.
Jamie Vardy had other ideas, however, scoring a superb volley within 60 seconds of the restart as the pressure ramps up on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have gone three top-flight games without a win.
Patson Saka then wrapped it up in the dying minutes.
The two teams came into the match winless from their past two Premier League outings and were aiming to recover quickly following the international break.
Leicester went unbeaten against United last season in three league and FA Cup meetings to end a run of three successive Red Devils victories since Solskjaer took charge.
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