Raphael Varane: 'Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku are big threats'


They are one of those teams which have evolved as the tournament progressed and have learnt from their mistakes especially after the Japan game, where they had to come back from a two-goal deficit. England, meanwhile, is also seeking its second trophy-and first since 1966-while Croatia's previous best result was a third-place finish in 1998.

Martinez had predicted past year, after Belgium became the first team to qualify from the European preliminaries, that Henry would have a positive impact on the Belgian players at the tournament.

There is a worry for Brazil heading into the Belgium match: The team will be without midfielder Casemiro, who is suspended after picking up a second yellow card in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the round of 16.

Eden Hazard played a phenomenal match against Brazil on Friday evening, catching the eyes of the watching world. Narayanan S looks at the tactical tweaks that won Belgium their quarterfinal against Brazil.

Goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann in Nizhny Novgorod gave France a 2-0 victory to move into the World Cup semi-finals, ending an impressive campaign from Uruguay in Russian Federation on a relatively limp note.

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The two European nations will go head to head in the World Cup's semi-finals stage in a hugely anticipated clash with a final on the line. All other instances of four teams from the same confederations in the last four also involved UEFA teams - Italy 1982, England 1966 and Italy 1934.

Belgium are considered underdogs against the five-time champions, who have purred through the tournament so far, but Lukaku says that does not mean they can play without the handbrake. France have always been a footballing stronghold but as we have seen in this World Cup, reputation precedes determination.

"Bolivia might not be as strong as Germany and Uruguay not as strong as England".

Thibaut Courtois made nine saves for Belgium, taking his tournament tally up to 18. We have beaten Brazil in the World Cup, we have created a nice memory, let's treasure it and pass it down.