Euro 2024: Bellingham shows dignity with an affectionate gesture towards Akanji after a quarterfinal penalty miss
Jude Bellingham and Manuel Akanji exchange shirts (Image: Manchester Evening News)

The Euro 2024’s 3rd Quarterfinal was held between England and Switzerland. The game went attacking from both sides and with Embolo and Saka’s goals in normal time, England and Switzerland took the scoreline of 1-1 to the penalties for a decider.

The dramatic clash was highly anticipated as Switzerland had defeated France in the Round of 16 clash in Euro 2020. After eliminating the defending champions Italy from the Round of 16 stage of Euro 2024, Switzerland seemed confident as they entered the Quarter-finals against an underperforming English side.

England, who came from a last-minute recovery against Slovenia from a miraculous strike by their Golden Boy, Jude Bellingham, were scarcely scared to face the central European giants. After a goalless first half, Embolo struck early in the second half to give the Swiss an early lead, while the Arsenal winger, who was the one in the groove for England that night, scored from a stunning effort to provide the three-lions with an equalizer.

As the game advanced into the penalties, the Swiss gave their central defender Manuel Akanji the role to provide them with a good start. However, the Man City man was denied by Jordan Pickford, as the Swiss fell behind by 1-0 to England.

After Akanji’s penalty save turned out to be decisive as Southgate’s men defeated them with a 5-3 in the penalties, he stood there with his head hung in disappointment. This was when Real Madrid’s star boy, Jude Bellingham, approached his ex-Borussia Dortmund teammate and tried to lift his morale by lifting him up with a thumping fist and embracing him to console him.

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He then offered to swap their shirts—a gesture worth a sight, which shows his great spirit in the game. The interaction also lasted on social media, as Akanji posted mentioning their achievements and speaking of his gratitude towards their families and fans. To this, Bellingham replied with a simple “What a player,” which only added to his greatness.