Mixed World Cup emotions for French legend Henry

11 Juillet, 2018, 08:25 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • 2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Belgium

Saint Petersburg: France reached the World Cup final on Tuesday after a second-half header from Samuel Umtiti gave team a 1-0 win over Belgium.

The game will feature plenty of talented attackers and has the potential to be one of the most exciting games of the competition. So all of the above applies for fans hoping to watch England and Croatia play for a spot in the World Cup 2018 finals.

Further, 31-year-old French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who plays for Tottenham with Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele, all of Belgium, got to play two seasons as Henry's France teammate.

It's a shame that one team had to lose this one, so much talent was on display. But though Belgium has the accomplished Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, France has equally brilliant players in Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.

France will meet a European side only for the second time during the current World Cup, as their previous opponents outside of Denmark included Australia, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay.

"We've strived to be as good as we could be at global level and it's taken us two years to get there".

Belgium have scored 14 goals in five matches and were hugely impressive in their 2-1 quarter-final victory over Brazil.

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"It's been two years to try and understand these footballers, the human beings behind the footballers, and to try and get a group that shared the same ambition, not just to use the national team to improve their brand", Martinez told a news conference.

Belgium faced a heart-stopping moment of uncertainty in the first knockout round against Japan, when Martinez's decision to rest players in their final group match against England nearly backfired spectacularly. Yellow card accumulation resets in the semifinals, so players will no longer be playing in fear of being suspended for their next match.

For some reason, the BBC commentator said that the game would perhaps "open-up" when the first goal came.

Fellaini flashed a header just wide and Axel Witsel forced a good save out of Lloris as Belgium pushed forward for an equaliser and France hung on in six minutes of stoppage-time to reach their third World Cup final.

His predecessor, Marc Wilmots, recalled putting De Bruyne up against Serbia defender Aleksandar Kolarov in a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.

After Belgium's early pressure, it was France pushing harder as half-time approached. I don't think it's a case of us not being focused enough. His two goals against La Albiceleste had the BBC making Pele comparisons. Hazard again went close in the 19th minute but his drive, heading for the top left corner was diverted over by Raphael Varane's head.

Because of Henry, the Belgium-France, France-Belgium semifinal somehow cooked up by this diabolical World Cup becomes that oddball game in which people chatter a lot about the No. 3 member of one side's coaching staff, even as that person hasn't chattered at all about himself. Of course, there are no guarantees in the World Cup, especially in 2018.

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