Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

With FIFA World Cup title, France could launch a dynasty

With FIFA World Cup title, France could launch a dynasty

The French victory game from a huge togetherness that has to be worked on by the coach, and while Hugo Lloris enhanced his claims for the Golden Glove, it was a team effort to book their place in the World Cup final, and they are sure to start favourites against England or Croatia, who meet tomorrow night.

In Belgium's corner will be France's 1998 World Cup victor Thierry Henry who is now a member of the Belgian coaching staff.

Final: France 1, Belgium 0. Dubbed by many as the two best teams left in the competition, we could be in line for a thrilling encounter between two attacking-minded teams.

Goal scorer Umtiti said the win had come on the back of the work of the entire team.

After finding opportunities, but failing to score in the first half, France finally broke through with the decisive goal from Samuel Umtiti in the 51st minute.

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Didier Deschamps' side, with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe up front, struggled for goals in their group matches but have now hit their stride, dominating Uruguay after beating Argentina.

In the first semi final game on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg, Henry will be on the opposition bench as assistant to Belgium coach, Roberto Martinez.

Speaking from an RT studio in Manchester, Mourinho admitted he "smelled a match without many goals" and that the game could have stayed at 0-0 or even 1-1.

"But we will be ready because we have an extremely good state of mind and it is the semi-finals in the World Cup". On each of those occasions the tournament has been hosted in Europe. And for me, big occasions, big players, and numerous players they were not there in the big occasion. That's their right. They know when an opponent plays very deep, that's where we have problems.

France's most important player could then be N'golo Kante. Although they had been threatening to upset the world order for years, this was the moment that Belgium had truly arrived. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for the win over Sweden and social media is awash with videos of excited fans watching on big screens in bars and parks, fanatically celebrating every England goal.

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I don't expect either side to sit back and play negative. But Giroud, at 31, is increasingly looking like the odd man out, the ponderous weak link when France is surging forward at speed, unable to keep up with Mbappe's inventiveness and his Usain Bolt-like runs.

Hence, France shouldn't be over-reliant on Mbappe in the semi finals.

Three of the last four meetings between the sides have produced under 2.5 goals in total.

"I think it's too early to make any sort of assessment on the tournament", said Martinez, who extended his contract through to 2020 shortly before the World Cup.

When the match ended, the French players danced on the field and shook the hand of Thierry Henry, another 1998 World Cup victor who is now Belgium's assistant coach.

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"It's essential to have a player like Kevin - that he can play different roles, " Martinez said Monday, on the eve of the semifinal.

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