African players in France's World Cup team

Giroud Labels LIoris Better Goalkeeper Than Courtois As France Belgium Head For World Cup Semis Clash

Giroud Labels LIoris Better Goalkeeper Than Courtois As France Belgium Head For World Cup Semis Clash

Retired French striker Henry is now a member of the Belgian coaching staff.

Giroud will be fighting to shatter the World Cup dreams of his club team-mate Courtois by opening his goal account when the two nations clash in a blockbuster semi-final in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

France and Mbappe meet De Bruyne and his global colleagues in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final in St Petersburg, with the teenage forward having sprung to prominence 18 months ago after breaking into Monaco's first team. The Spaniard has shown great tactical pragmatism by setting up his side to suit the characteristics of his best players and exploit the weakness of opponents.

"France were one of the favourites before the World Cup and I think the game will be tougher than against Brazil due to their individual quality", he said. Pele hit a hat-trick against France in the semi-final of that tournament and is the last player under 20 to score in the final four.




The forward has been criticized by Henry in the past, but he said there were no hard feelings - just his hunger to win. My job is to be good on the pitch, to represent France as well as possible. I don't resent him.

And the Belgium admits Mbappe's performance took him by surprise, because he'd never heard of the teenager before facing him on the pitch.

France's Aujourd'hui en France newspaper prepared a full-page spread featuring the two popular comic characters and said it was more than a match.

Eden Hazard was a lively presence on Belgium's right, dragging a shot wide and Toby Alderweireld forced a smart save from Hugo Lloris while at the other end Olivier Giroud flicked a header narrowly wide.

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