Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

France and Belgium battle for place in World Cup final

France and Belgium battle for place in World Cup final

Modric was superb against Russian Federation, once again putting in a man-of-the-match performance to drag Croatia to the semi-finals.

FRA vs BEL Semi-final.

Hazard is one of the brightest talents in Belgium's golden generation which is targeting its country's first World Cup title in Russian Federation.

The victor will face either England or Croatia in Moscow for the title on Sunday, July 15.

So too, to be fair did many others, but it's clear the presence of Henry among the Belgian ranks has added extra spice to Tuesday's mouthwatering World Cup semi final clash.

Croatia´s midfielder Luka Modric celebrates scoring his penalty during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Russian Federation and Croatia at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on July 7, 2018. He is facing his home nation.

"What we didn't have was worldwide experience, the know-how of winning a World Cup, the know-how of being a footballer, how you are expected to perform in front of the world and knowing how you feel in those moments", the Spaniard said.

Belgium´s Kevin De Bruyne said Henry had talked little about his feelings.

Kevin De Bruyne and the aforementioned Kante sit in midfield. "For him tomorrow it could be a bit hard, but he works for Belgium now, he wants us to win".

Belgium produced what was heralded as a coming of age performance against Brazil in the quarter-final, blowing the five-time winners away with a display of attacking verve that was mixed with grit and resilience in defence.

Didier Deschamps´ France side failed to fire in their group matches but burst into life in the 4-3 demolition of Argentina as Mbappe overshadowed Lionel Messi and announced his arrival as a new superstar of the game.

The victory boosted France's morale, and they followed it up with a workman-like 2-0 win over Uruguay that was impressive because of how well they managed to control the game against tricky opponents.

Martinez has been forced to reshuffle his back line after Paris Saint-Germain wing back Meunier was suspended for the match in St. Petersburg after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament in Belgium's 2-1 quarterfinal win over Brazil.

Coming to Henry's defense was former team mate and fellow World Cup victor Emmanuel Petit who slammed the criticism of Henry as "a load of rubbish".

"It's peculiar because there are many players on my team who will be facing their own club team mates".

"The strikers go to him, they respect him", he said. "They have everything they need to be a great team and they are a great team". I won't be surprised if Croatia win this, provided, of course, they have no major injury issues.

Captain Harry Kane is leading England´s charge with six goals so far, putting him top in the race for the Golden Boot. For France, Kylian Mbappe can score in a blink and already introduced himself this tournament as one of the world's top scorers.

"Because of the seven years I spent in France I feel 99 percent Belgian and one percent French, but the idea of taking French nationality never crossed my mind" Hazard once said when asked about the possibility.

However, they say they will have no objection if the Centre Court crowd want to take sneak peeks of the action from Moscow on their phones.

In addition to the France vs. Belgium game today, the all-Europe semifinal match, England vs. Croatia, is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, July 11.

Both teams know they would be strong favorites to finish the job in Russian Federation against either England or Croatia in the final, meaning it could be now or never for the pair to fulfil their undoubted promise.

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