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France beat Belgium to reach final in Russian Federation

10 July 2018

That was the last competitive match between the two countries but there have been eight global friendlies since.

They last met in a friendly in 2015 and a number of Belgian and French players are team mates at club level. But under Martinez the team are finally threatening to make good on their moniker and turn the tag into something more tangible in the form of the 18 carat World Cup trophy. "We need to be the best version of ourselves".

As a child, Hazard used to study videos of the man who led France to the World Cup in 1998 - and stepped down as Real boss in May, to hone and copy his skills.

"He motivates the troops with strong words", Pavard said. "We're ready to go to war with him". The dependable Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti will start in central defence with Benjamin Pavard at right-back and Lucas Hernandez at left-back.

"But he did know that, from the time he was joining the management team and becoming assistant to Martinez, that this could happen". Fans welcomed his arrival in August 2016 with lukewarm enthusiasm because he'd only recently been fired by Everton in the Premier League.

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Chadli netted a dramatic stoppage-time victor in the round of 16 against Japan as Belgium came from two goals down to win 3-2.

French football despite being one of the most popular players that France has ever produced.

Martinez's tactics have stood out, too.

On social media networks in France, where the nation's most hot-headed and opinionated commenters tend to hang out, Henry has even been branded a "traitor" for taking a role with the Belgian national team.

Giroud said Henry could coach France in the future and that working with Belgium would help the 40-year-old gain experience in his new career as a coach.

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Since Le Bleus' title success at the 1998 World Cup on home soil, Le Bleus are yet to have their hands on the title, though they came close at the 2006 edition but missed out in a dramatic penalty shootout against eventual victor Italy.

Among the notable matchups, Chelsea have Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and captain Eden Hazard up against N'Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud, who are certain to start for France.

Lloris added: "Belgium are a very exhaustive team ... one that can attack and defend". The country's squad decimated Brazil in the first half of last week's quarter final, with a brilliant Kevin De Bruyne smashing in a glorious goal, and an assist by the team's absolute unit Romelu Lukaku. Because of his quick feet, change of direction and exquisite close control, he is hard to tackle and this often draws a foul.

Notable: Kylian Mbappe is the first teenager to score twice in a World Cup match since Pele did it against Sweden in 1958. It also gives Antoine Griezmann space to roam. He said: "I am not the manager, nor am I the assistant manager". "It's my unselfish side".

He needs one goal to move ahead of France great Zinedine Zidane. They won it all in 1998.

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The game will feature plenty of talented attackers and has the potential to be one of the most exciting games of the competition. The Red Devils have never finished better than fourth place, a result from their first and only trip to the semifinals in 1986.

France beat Belgium to reach final in Russian Federation