France beat Belgium to reach final in Russian Federation

27-year-old looks like a man on a mission to bring the WC trophy for the first time in the country’s history

Barring a Kylian Mbappe-inspired 4-3 victory over Argentina, France have lacked cohesion in the final third.

"Vive la France! Vive la Republique!"

Belgium also possess great creativity and invention in the form of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.

France looked to spring using its pace on the other side in the 13th minute on a play created by Pogba.

Roberto Martinez's surprise 4-3-3 was just insane enough to confuse the Brazil defence throughout the first half of their quarter-final, which puts them in a strong position to do something similar on the counter-attack against France - particularly through the middle.

France coach Didier Deschamps is confident he has prepared his players for any tactical surprises his opposite number Roberto Martinez might spring when they face Belgium in the World Cup semi-finals in St Petersburg on Tuesday. France are searching for their first final outing at the World Cup 2018 in 12 years.

Two years ago at home, the French surprisingly lost to Portugal 1-0 in the Euro 2016 title match. Henry's old global colleague Didier Deschamps has not won over everybody in his time as France coach, as he continues to favour a cautious approach despite being able to call on some of the finest attacking talents in world football. However, things will be far more complicated for France this time around.

France captain and keeper Hugo Lloris, who played for two seasons with Henry in the national team, said: "He is a huge player and a great gentleman of French football".

The semi-final matchup of the European neighbours promises to be full of intrigue as France aim to reach the final for the first time since a Zinedine Zidane-led team did so in Germany in 2006.

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So between Belgium and France, there was never going to be an undeserving World Cup finalist.

Along with the French and Gabonese presidents and the king and queen of Belgium, there was rock "n" roll royalty watching the game. The energetic midfielder is one of the best ball winners in world football and will likely be the difference maker against a very strong Belgium side.

France controlled the early tempo of the game but Belgium had more possession in the earlier stages. Uruguay responded by scrambling to cover up the 19-year-old striker in the quarterfinals, and allowed Antoine Griezmann, another world-class forward, to find the goal instead.

You can stream every World Cup match on fuboTV (Try for free). His first touch was after 10 seconds and, after receiving the ball on the right wing, he sped past Jan Vertonghen and then Mousa Dembele in a thrilling run. Mbappe has Algerian-Cameroonian roots.

"It is weird", said Deschamps, "because he is French and that he will be on the bench of the opposition".

Belgium's chances of stopping their opponents are dented by the absence of suspended right back Thomas Meunier but Deschamps believes his charges are equally capable of adapting to any situation.

Rock superstar Jagger seemed to not be getting much satisfaction when the camera panned into the stands at St. Petersburg Stadium, located on the city's Krestovsky Island, tucked away under a dark cap.

If you don't have cable, you can still watch the World Cup for free with a digital antenna, which costs around $30.

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