France vs Belgium, a short history

France vs Belgium, a short history

France will square off with Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-final match at the Krestovsky Stadium in Russian Federation on Tuesday at 7:00pm.

Roberto Martinez's surprise 4-3-3 was just insane enough to confuse the Brazil defence throughout the first half of their quarter-final, which puts them in a strong position to do something similar on the counter-attack against France - particularly through the middle.

Both teams have overcome formidable obstacles with Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Japan being the scalps these teams have claimed on the way to the semi final.

The victor will face either Croatia or England, who play Thursday (2am Malaysia time), in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

The precocious talent of the young Hazard did not pass unnoticed at Clairefontaine, the France Football Federation's elite forming school, and overtures were made to try and persuade him to represent his adopted country.

But here's one thing Deschamps can be sure of: if Lukaku has a one-on-one duel with the French goalkeeper, and pauses just before the final shot, or if Eden Hazard cuts in from the left and curls his shot across Hugo Lloris, each of them will have taken expert advice on how to finesse those manoeuvres from one Thierry Henry, French legend.

And the presence of French World Cup victor Thierry Henry on the Belgian coaching staff as one of Martinez's assistants adds extra spice to the occasion.

Roberto Martinez's swashbuckling Belgium side head into Tuesday's semi-final with familiar foes France as the World Cup's leading scorers, but their old rivals have evolved as the tournament has progressed and will also be full of confidence. "But tomorrow, on a professional level, he will be putting all the passion that drives him into the Belgian team".

"Maybe he'll sing La Marseillaise, which I would find normal", said De Bruyne. "It is a hard situation - weird - it is not easy for him".

The game at Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, starts at 9 p.m. local time, or 2 p.m.


The French will remember well what happened when the teams last met, with Belgium tearing them apart in a 4-3 friendly win in Paris in June 2015.

The French then showed their steel in the 2-0 disposal of Luis Suarez and Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

They also lost the 2006 final to Italy on penalties, though experience won't be a factor given that not a single player left in the tournament has ever reached the showpiece before.

If the squad was deemed too young to compete in 2014, then Euro 2016 was surely a full-blown choke, as they lost to a Welsh team that didn't make it to Russian Federation.

"We know him, he has a lot of passion for football and he will be with the Belgians and will give everything to help his team". We need to defend spaces more than the player himself.

What's certain is that with one more win Les Bleus are back in the World Cup final for the first time in a dozen years.

"Our trainings sessions are filmed by a drone after we took an extra video analyst to Russian Federation".

Antoine Griezmann, whose bagged three goals at this tournament, joins Lukaku, Mbappe and Hazard in a ultra-attacking formation. If the Scandinavians had a hard time winning aerial duels against England, willl Croatia fare that much better?

'When you go to a club overseas and play one from your own country, you are part of the enemy team, ' said France coach Didier Deschamps on Monday.

The quarter-finals are all done and dusted, meaning just four matches remain before the 2018 FIFA World Cup comes to an end.

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