France v Belgium player ratings


Kylian Mbappe has been tipped for big things for a couple of years now and he has certainly lived up to his billing in this World Cup. A lack of panic when they were 2-1 down against Argentina in the last-16 before coming back to win a thriller 4-3, and patience in breaking down stubborn Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

Beaten finalists at Euro 2016 on home soil, France will aim to go one better in Russian Federation and emulate the successful squad of 1998 which included Didier Deschamps, who could emulate Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer by winning the World Cup as both a player and manager. We could've come to this stage and froze and not dealt with what France have done in the past. He dribbled at Belgian defenders all day on Tuesday and his speediness was a constant headache for the opposition.

"It's a shame for the football that today Belgium has not won".

France's brilliance on the midfield during the semi-final game should have resulted in more goals but Giroud was constantly misfiring, with no goals to show with six shots on the night.

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Captain Eden Hazard dazzled in patches but Kevin De Bruyne was quiet and Romelu Lukaku was a shadow of the player he had been earlier in the tournament, even though Belgium enjoyed most of the possession.

As for the rest of his teammates, there is a worrying lack of belief and winning spirit, especially in the second half. They put in a superhuman effort to contain Belgium's offensive weapons. When he had to hold position and to keep control of the game he did. The Tottenham man had two remarkable saves that did not allow Belgium to find the net.

France's objective is one game shy of becoming a reality.

See the overview of the match France - Belgium. But the doubts that surrounded them in the first match were quickly forgotten after they topped the group with a 1-0 triumph over Peru and a 0-0 draw to Denmark.

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France were not all that convincing either but did enough to deserve to win.

Both side brought experience and tactics to play, but France clinical approach to the game gave the the lead after Samuel Umtiti outjumped Marouane Fellaini in the 51st minute to score.

Up in the corporate seats, French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the goal by shaking the hand of King Philippe of Belgium as Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino watched on between them. The Frenchmen had lifted the World Cup in 1998 and now they are eying to repeat the history. Even so, they were hoping for more this time around.

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