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Luke Shaw says England face ‘two big finals’ in bid to win Euro 2024

Luke Shaw is determined to win “two big finals” and become kings of the continent having helped England overcome Switzerland at the end of a long road back from injury.

After 139 days and issues with a hamstring complaint, the 28-year-old returned to action as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland.

Shaw showed few signs of rust as the match finished 1-1 after extra time and went to penalties, where England triumphed 5-3 to set-up a semi-final clash against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

“It felt amazing, to be honest,” the Manchester United left-back said. “It’s been a really long road. I’ve had a lot of setbacks.

“I think the hard work I’ve put in, especially over the last few weeks, make it worthwhile.

“Last night was a very nice moment for me and to be back on the pitch, to enjoy being back on the pitch, and to cap it off with a win was a really nice feeling for me and a very happy one.”

Asked how much it meant that Gareth Southgate kept faith in him by selecting him for the Euros despite his injury problems, Shaw told Lions’ Den: “I think we all thought that I would have been back a bit sooner.

Gareth Southgate took a calculated gamble in selecting Luke Shaw
Gareth Southgate took a calculated gamble in selecting Luke Shaw (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“But unfortunately, like I said, there was a couple of setbacks along the way, which made me want it even more, to be honest. To be able to get back out there.

“Of course I owe Gareth a lot for the faith he’s shown me and the trust he’s given me to be able to come and be part of the squad, even if it is in the later games that it has been. I owe him a lot.”

Shaw was full of praise for the England manager after taking charge of his 100th match, saying the thing the players most love about him as how he always puts the team first.

The 28-year-old says that allows them to “go on to the pitch and do what we do best”, which they will need to do again against the Netherlands in Wednesday’s Signal Iduna Park semi-final.

“I think you’ve got to be excited,” Shaw said. “It’s the semi-finals in the Euros. “The most important thing is to be excited about it, looking forward to it.

“Of course, it’s not the final yet but for us it is our final. I think we’ve got two big finals left and we have to give everything in that game and leave everything on that pitch to try and reach the final.”

England have yet to reach their best in Germany but have found ways to win – from the last-gasp equaliser and extra-time triumph in the last 16 against Slovakia to Saturday’s shoot-out.

That win against the Swiss on spot-kicks felt particularly sweet three years on from losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.

Luke Shaw scored in the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy
Luke Shaw scored in the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I think a bit of relief obviously because what we’ve been through as a team the last time we were in a shoot-out,” Shaw said.

“Aa bit of relief and obviously proud of the lads and the ones that stepped up in this pressurised moment.”

But relief at the outcome should not be mistaken for a lack of belief in the process, which Trent Alexander-Arnold wrapped up scoring the fifth and final spot-kick.

“I was next to him the whole time, so I was really confident, to be honest,” Shaw said of his fellow full-back.

“I think he seemed really relaxed, calm. We have our routines and stuff anyway, so we practice them a lot, so everyone knew what they were doing, where they were going.

“It was very calculated, we all knew what was going to happen, so when he stepped up I had full faith. I knew he was going to score.”

Shaw revealed Declan Rice was “calming everyone down” during the shoot-out, “telling everyone to do their breathing techniques and manifest it”.

One man that did not appear to need such help was nerveless Ivan Toney, who stared at the Swiss goalkeeper and scored his spot-kick without looking at the ball.

Ivan Toney showed incredible composure with his spot-kick
Ivan Toney showed incredible composure with his spot-kick (Adam Davy/PA)

“I cannot believe it, to be honest.” Shaw said. “It’s crazy and you watch back the video.

“There’s one just watching his face and it’s mad. I saw it this morning and couldn’t believe it. It’s crazy.”