Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Fearless France ready to show Belgium's Henry he picked wrong side

Fearless France ready to show Belgium's Henry he picked wrong side

To watch Brazil play in the World Cup is to see Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known simply as Neymar, writhe around on the ground a lot.

France's players were jeered at their national stadium on the eve of the 2002 World Cup when the defending champions lost a friendly to Belgium 2-1.

"For us to finally be able to knock out a formidable opponent is because of the experience we've picked up at previous tournaments and also the development of our players at their clubs", Vermaelen said.

That leaves perhaps the most wide-open World Cup of modern times heading towards the final week, and England manager Southgate has called on his team to take advantage.

"I would have preferred to have Henry on our side, to give me and the other French forwards advice, but I am not too jealous", the 31-year-old Giroud said.

Mbappe has been one of the standout stars of France's surge to the final four in Russian Federation, scoring three goals and turning in a series of electrifying performances.

"You said European football is stronger, but we don't know who will win the World Cup this time".

Brazil v/s Mexico, Belgium v/s Japan- matches, schedule on July 2
"When you are in the World Cup it's about achieving your aim so it's not something to criticise; the opposite". To beat Brazil, you have to be 100 per cent, 120 per cent of your mental and physical capacity.

It's a move Neymar has pulled numerous times throughout the World Cup, whether for sympathy, to draw a penalty kick, or some combination of both. What was Neymar up to at this World Cup? France have always been a footballing stronghold but as we have seen in this World Cup, reputation precedes determination.

"I think Roy took a lot of criticism for that, but he was courageous enough to put a lot of these young players in - and without that experience, we wouldn't have had a day like today because they've learned from that".

Neymar was ruled out by injury four years ago when Brazil slumped to a 7-1 defeat against Germany with Scolari in charge.

Brazil have conceded only one goal in this World Cup, the equal most stingy rearguard along with Uruguay, and allowed only five shots on target in four games, the fewest of any side.

With one match to play until the semifinals, it feels like the tournament is wide open.

"I think the individual talent is quite a big weapon for both teams", he said.

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