France return to the semi-finals against Belgium tomorrow and, while the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba stand as the potential superstar heirs to Zidane, Henry and Djorkaeff, the most striking parallel is to another undroppable striker who can not now score.
France will go into their World Cup semi-final against neighbors Belgium with a "hunger to win" and a desire to show their 1998 World Cup victor Thierry Henry that he picked the wrong side, forward Olivier Giroud said on Sunday.
Thomas Vermaelen considers Belgium to be genuine World Cup title contenders.
France are making their sixth appearance in the World Cup semi-finals: they were eliminated from their first three (1958, 1982 and 1986) and have reached the final in the last two (1998 and 2006).
To find recent head-to-head form, we need to go back to a Paris friendly won 4-3 by Belgium in 2015. "But we're not thinking about it too much, we're going to be focused on the pitch and our game". One thing Deschamps has got right is not trying to cram the best players into a system, instead finding the best combination of players in France's attack.
There is a very good chance, 3/4 to be exact that by the time this tournament ends on Sunday, one of these nations gets to bury the underachiever label; at least for a very long time.
The winner of France and Belgium will take on the victor of the second semi-final between England and Croatia in next weekend's final. He's one of only four players to score and assist a couple of times for both, while only Isco and Lionel Messi (both 23) have completed more dribbles than the wing-wizard (22).Читайте также: Paul Heyman reacts to Brock Lesnar's UFC return
France beat Uruguay with goals either side of half-time from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.
With Belgium trailing Japan 2-0 in the round of 16, Martinez replaced two wide players with two midfielders and they both scored.
Goals have proved elusive for a player whose place in the France line-up has always been a source of national debate in his homeland but two more wins are all that count for 31-year-old. He is the best in the world in his position. Henry, scorer of goals that frequently had his audiences asking "How did he do that?" when he was a player, works with Belgian strikers on the fine details of finishing; he is there to divulge secrets, and keep those secrets in a closed circle.
"Against Belgium we also have the players to make sure [Eden] Hazard touches the ball as little as possible".
Without further ado, here is our guide to the World Cup semi-finals.
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