France departed the European Championship finals with a whimper on the pitch and a foul-mouthed blast from Samir Nasri after a game in which they rarely challenged the might of Spain.
Xabi Alonso celebrated his 100th cap with both goals to keep La Roja on course for footballing immortality — and it was all too much for Nasri, Manchester City’s title-winning midfielder who came on in the second half but to little effect.
Heading into the last four: Xabi Alonso sees his header fly into the net
When asked for a comment on the French quarter-final exit, Nasri ranted: 'You’re always looking for stories — go **** yourself.'
He was doubtless frustrated that Spain did not need to be at their best to overcome a disappointingly negative France team in Donetsk and are now just 180 minutes away from becoming the first nation in history to win three major international tournaments in a row.
Playing without a recognised striker, the Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup winners relied on their Real Madrid midfielder to make the difference in a lacklustre last eight contest.
Alonso converted Jordi Alba’s cross to head Spain in front after 19 minutes and then sealed victory with a late penalty after substitute Pedro had been fouled.
In the ITV studio, former Anfield team-mate Jamie Carragher said of his former clubmate Alonso: 'It sickens me to see him in the red shirt of Spain, and not the red shirt of Liverpool. I’d love to have him back.'
Cities & Stadiums
The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments
|2008||Spain||Germany||Russia / Turkey|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Netherlands / Czech Republic|
|2000||France||Italy||Netherlands / Portugal|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||France / England|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands / Sweden|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy / West Germany|
|1984||France||Spain||Denmark / Portugal|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||Belgium|