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King, Queen of Belgium, Macron to attend World Cup semi-final

11 July 2018
King, Queen of Belgium, Macron to attend World Cup semi-final

The one worry for the Red Devils is the defence as Thomas Meunier misses through suspension with Nacer Chaldi and Yannick Carrasco tasked with dealing with France's threat in the wider positions.

It was viewed by many observers as a breakout display at Russian Federation 2018 for the Manchester City star, but Martinez feels his efforts when stationed deeper alongside Witsel during Belgium's earlier games were also pivotal.

"It has been a shared effort, that has been the key of our world cup campaign".

Martinez added: "Thierry has brought something we didn't have".

"I'm not jealous. There's a lot of mutual respect. I don't really see the point, whether it's for the French journalists, the foreign journalists, Belgian journalists, or others".

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has shown that he can make changes to his system, using a 4-3-2-1 for most of the tournament, but adapting to a 4-3-3 to exploit Brazil's weaknesses down the flanks.

"For me, Kevin De Bruyne is the modern playmaker", he said.

- Antoine Griezmann has scored seven goals in his last six knockout-stage matches in major tournaments, beginning with his Golden Boot-clinching displays at Euro 2016. "We just hope he doesn't beat us in this semi-final".

"What we didn't have was an worldwide who has the knowledge of winning a World Cup, of being a footballer expected to perform in the eyes of the world and how it feels".

World Cup victor and France great Thierry Henry, who followed a similar trajectory to the top as Mbappe, cited the latter's intelligence as the driving force behind his success.

Martinez had predicted a year ago, 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. He plays as a number six, as a number eight, as a false nine, he can play out wide. To get the latest soccer news, text "SPORTS" to 22840.