Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Fearless France ready for Belgium semi-final

Fearless France ready for Belgium semi-final

"He might not have the flamboyant style of other players but the team needs him in each and every match", said Deschamps.

The French delegation also includes Minister of Sports Laura Flessel-Colovic and the renowned French football player, Jean-Pierre Papin.

"It's alright being quick, we've all come across players that are really, really quick".

France may be heading to the World Cup final, but Olivier Giroud is still making unwanted history in front of goal. "It is an opportunity in our careers and we have to grab it with both hands".

World Cup action continues tomorrow with France and Belgium set to lock horns in a potentially thrilling semi-final contest slated for the Krestovsky stadium in St. Petersburg.

"It has been a few years since he said what he said about me".

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'He's had a fantastic year and he can even improve if that's possible, so yes he will be a danger to us but we are going to try and stop him from playing'.

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.

After ousting Brazil in the semis, Belgium go into their match up against France high in confidence. Belgium have had nine different goalscorers in the 2018 World Cup (excluding own goals); only Italy in 2006 and France in 1982 (10 each) have had more in a single tournament.

De Bruyne also admitted that it felt like a "now or never" moment for this Belgium squad who, after quarter-finals together at the last two global tournaments, have already take a step forward in beating Brazil last Friday to reach the last four.

- Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium in all competitions, with 17 goals and three assists.

His robust presence at centre-forward has helped to unleash the lavish gifts of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe - most notably when the latter tore Argentina apart with a virtuoso display. "We just hope he doesn't beat us in this semi-final".

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