Pogba dedicates France semi win to rescued Thai boys

World Cup yellow cards rule

France midfielder Paul Pogba called them "heroes of the day" and dedicated to them his country's 1-0 win over Belgium.

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On Wednesday, La Liga said they had invited the boys and their coach to Spain to attend a Spanish top flight game in the future when they have fully recovered from the ordeal.

Pogba, 25, was instrumental in the semi-final win in St Petersburg, as Samuel Umtiti's goal in the 51st minute put the 1998 champions in the World Cup final against the victor of Croatia and England.

"We are conscious of the situation, we do not want to make the same mistakes like two years ago".

Umtiti said: "I've known him for many years, he's always been a leader, he has that in him".

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"We'd like to have got to the final", said Omba, 18.

Shearer is expecting a thrilling contest between France and Belgium after strong displays in the knockout stages so far from Didier Deschamps' and Roberto Martinez's teams. "I'm very happy for my players, we showed character and the right mentality, it was very hard for us tonight". We have no doubts, we play together, that's our strength. We are in the final of a World Cup.

But she said, this was Belgium, where the beer flows well and people look out for each other: "Among us Belgians, we support each other massively".

Belgium reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 tournament held in France and won by Portugal. We must not let this chance pass.

The terrifying ordeal that the trapped young Thai footballers went through before their dramatic rescue has put the World Cup in perspective for a couple of the sport's stars. I can improve and get better...

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