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Varane exorcises ghosts of Brazil as France look to semi-finals

09 July, 2018, 03:00 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Roberto Martínez has led Belgium to the World Cup quarterfinals

Thibaut Courtois's last minute save helped Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 to advance to their second-ever World Cup semi-finals.

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 weird situation.

In the other half of the draw, Belgium's 2-1 win against Brazil set up a meeting with France in Saint Petersburg next week after Didier Deschamps's side saw off two-time winners Uruguay 2-0. Also, Brazil is still one of the most popular teams, everybody wants to attend a Brazil game.

Belgium, meanwhile, are the tournament's top scorers, banging in 12 goals in their four games so far. What was Neymar up to at this World Cup?

And despite the rivalry between the two neighbouring nations, Hazard confessed that France's previous World Cup-winning side made a big impact on him as a youngster.

The places seven to 12 are filled with six stars, who have all reached 33.3km/h, with one Brazilian, though not Neymar or Willan, among them. France have always been a footballing stronghold but as we have seen in this World Cup, reputation precedes determination.

Giroud said his teammates knew Belgium very well with many players from both teams competing in the English Premier League, including himself.

It may have seemed as though the reign of Messi and Ronaldo would never come to an end, and it's premature to say it has, but this World Cup has shown there are players ready to take the mantle.

With one match to play until the semifinals, it feels like the tournament is wide open.

The forward was fouled ten times in Brazil's opening match against Switzerland, the most a player had been fouled in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer in 1998.

"I'm very happy to be a part of this team".

"We will need power", Belgium's coach Roberto Martinez said in what could be a hint towards his intentions.

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