Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

All eyes on World Cup semis

All eyes on World Cup semis

Belgium, who reached their first World Cup semi-finals in 32 years, will take on 1998 champions France at the St. Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday. "He is extremely fast and can decide every match in a flash", Vermaelen told reporters.

"I'm not jealous. There's a lot of mutual respect".

"Obviously I prefer to have chances and score but, if I can make space for the others, I always try to choose the best option for the team".

Deschamps values Giroud's work as the first line of the French defense, harassing the opponent when it has the ball in its half, and as a third center back to defend set pieces, which have played such an important role in the World Cup.

"I think he has built on the potential of the team", the Manchester City midfielder said. My job is to be good on the pitch, to represent France as well as possible. "Maybe it will be a more hard match than against Brazil".

Sunday French paper Le Journal du Dimanche also devoted several pages to the friendship and rivalry between the two countries and attached an excerpt from an Asterix comic book showing a dispute between Belgian and Gallic chieftains.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Lloris said: "They are an exhaustive team, they know how to do everything".

"I believe in it of course, especially as we find ourselves in the semi-finals having knocked out one of the top favourites".

Harlington Shereni, who spent more than a decade plying his trade in the French topflight league, is among those that will be routing behind les bleus.

But he said France were talented and experienced enough to break down Belgium's defensive "wall" around keeper Thibaut Courtois.

"I am convinced that we will break down this wall".

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