France v Belgium
July 10, 2018 -- The FIFA World Cup in Russia enters the semi-final stage, in which the remaining four teams compete to be crowned World Champions. The first semi-final, hosted in Saint Petersburg, features France, and their generation of attacking stars and individual brilliance, against tournament top goalscorers Belgium, with their team of creative talents.
France started slowly in the group stage with narrow victories over Australia and Peru, before drawing with Denmark. The 1998 champions sparked into life against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, notable for a captivating performance by PSG’s €180m teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, one of the youngest players in the tournament. Les Bleus then dispatched Uruguay in clinical fashion in the quarter-finals, to reach the World Cup final four for the first time since 2006.
Belgium began the group stage with impressive victories over Panama and Tunisia, before narrowly defeating a much-changed England side to top Group H. The Red Devils kept their World Cup hopes alive in the Last 16 with a remarkable comeback against Japan, recovering from a two-goal deficit before Nacer Chadli scored a last-gasp winner. Victory over five-time champions Brazil followed in the quarter-finals, as the undeniable talents of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne combined to realise their full potential in national colours.