Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Belgium and France face off in mouth-watering semi-final

Brazil’s coach Tite shouts instructions to his players during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico at the Samara Arena in Samara on 2 July 2018 Brazil, the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup, has been knocked out, and now the tournament is wide open
Chelsea Rogers | 09 July, 2018, 04:50

Despite a better all round team the five times World Cup winners looked too reliant on Neymar who in turn tried to do too much and they went out to Belgium in the quarter final. Now I watch footage of him.

Lukaku has scored four goals in three games for Belgium at the tournament and has performed at a high standard in every one of those appearances.

Not that the young players and their coach are the only ones making fun of Neymar.

France's attack is spearheaded by Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, who firmly warned Henry that he'll "be happy to show Thierry Henry that he chose the wrong camp". We are with you.

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Headlines in the aftermath of the victory over Mexico focused on Neymar's theatrical reaction to challenges made on him rather than his performance, and he was powerless to stop Brazil losing 2-1 to Belgium in the last eight. "His presence, his World Cup experience, it is all a very positive influence", said defender Toby Alderweireld before the start of the tournament. "He always tries to help us win games". With Brazil's skilful but frustrating Neymar now out, too, the tournament is showing that game-changing players need fully functioning teams around them and can not carry their nations' hopes alone.

The Selecao entered the tournament in Russian Federation as favourites to lift the trophy but struggled to show their best form at any point of the tournament, ultimately making it to the quarter-finals before being eliminated by a vastly superior Belgium side. "We have to defend as well as we can and then cause them pain when we have the ball".

"It's hard for me to talk to you", Tite said at the news conference after the match.

Understandably Hazard has gone with his own country to win outright and they have defeated England once already this tournament, in the final Group H game with both teams playing weakened sides. "I have a good team that still has plenty of room for improvement".

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