France vs. Belgium semifinal matchup promises entertaining theater


Brazilian Mario Zagallo won the 1958 and the 1962 World Cups as a player and then coached Brazil to the 1970 title, while Franz Beckenbauer was captain of West Germany in 1974 and led them to the world title in 1990 as their coach.

The irony of Thierry Henry, one of France's all-time soccer greats, plotting his own country's downfall at the World Cup in Russian Federation has not been lost on his former team mate Didier Deschamps, who calls it a freakish situation.

France President Emmanuel Macron is attending the World Cup semifinal between France and Belgium at St. Petersburg Stadium. However, in reality, Didier Deschamps has made his side a defensively-sided team as Les Blues have only conceded four goals in the tournament.

"It is a unique opportunity for all of the team and all of Belgium, and a reward for all that has been done over the last 15 years".

Martinez, previously manager of English clubs Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton, took over after a disappointing European Championship in 2016 when Belgium were beaten 3-1 by Wales in the quarter-finals.

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Belgium's forwards are receiving similarly sage words from France great Thierry Henry, who is a key member of Roberto Martinez's backroom team.

Martinez's change was a forced one, with right wing-back Thomas Meunier suspended and could prompt a change in formation. "We just hope he doesn't beat us in this semi-final". "I don't feel pressure, but I'm excited about playing in a very special match".

France will now wait to see who they will face in Sunday's final with England taking on Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday evening.

His presence on the opposition bench has been described by France striker Olivier Giroud as "bizarre", with the Chelsea man keen to show Henry he has chosen the wrong camp.

It was Varane's defensive partner, Samuel Umtiti, who got the decisive goal but the Real Madrid defender kept Romelu Lukaku quiet all game and it did not go unnoticed by Ferdinand.