Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 | Belgium and France to face-off in mouth-watering semi-final

Eden Hazard Belgium Football 2018 FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup 2018 France vs Belgium

Eden Hazard Belgium Football 2018 FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup 2018 France vs Belgium

"I am lucky to have spent two seasons with Thierry as part of the France squad - he was a great player, and a top French football guy, so it will be special to see him with the Belgium team", said the Tottenham Hotspur shot-stopper.

This will be the first competitive meeting between France and Belgium since the 1986 World Cup, when France won 4-2 in the third-place playoff. But that would prove to be the country's last major title. If the first hour of its round of 16 games against Japan saw familiar weaknesses resurface, its quarter-final performance against Brazil was a timely reminder of the abundance of talent running through this team.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Belgium are through to the semifinal stage of this year's FIFA World Cup staging in Russian Federation after beating Brazil 2-1 at the Kazan Arena. "We've been confident from the start and we're not asking any questions of ourselves".

Thierry Henry's presence at the 2018 World Cup has been as discreet as he can make it, but he cannot control all the cameramen turning their lenses on him, all the press conference enquiries about him or indeed, the exuberance of some Belgian players.

"He motivates the troops with strong words", Pavard said. The outing against Brazil though, has to rank as one of his best in national colours so far, if not the best.

Belgium's "golden generation" is on the brink of greatness, Roberto Martinez having seen his reputation rocket over the course of the tournament. Fans welcomed his arrival in August 2016 with lukewarm enthusiasm because he'd only recently been fired by Everton in the Premier League.

Despite Kane's impressive tally, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has identified Raheem Sterling as England's danger man in their semi-final.

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On Tuesday, Griezmann has a chance to make Henry either a prophet or a profiteer when he leads France into the World Cup semifinals against Belgium.

For TV work, Henry "needed to be a bit incisive", he said.

Martinez's tactics have stood out, too.

"There are similarities between the two players [Mbappe and Hazard], they're both geniuses".

At the quarterfinal rounds, Hazard was spot on after tipping Belgium's Red Devils to overcome Brazil's Selecao as well as France beating Uruguay.

"Since we've been working closely together I think I've raised my game twice as much than what I thought I could do, and I owe him a lot, a lot in the last two years". But Lloris appeared to be at his commanding best in the quarterfinal win over Uruguay, rushing off his line to push away a low cross and later making a superb low save.

This is a game that should go right down the wire, but the fluid front-three of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard gives Belgium the slightest of edges.

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