Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

France say Thierry Henry in ‘wrong camp’ for World Cup semi

France say Thierry Henry in ‘wrong camp’ for World Cup semi

In a game that has been dubbed as "The Final before the Final", France and Belgium will determine which team will become the first side to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. The Juventus and Real Madrid great was only just getting started.

If he can do that, then the golden generation could well glitter alongside the World Cup, as the winners of this semi-final would be odds-on favourites to lift the trophy on Sunday. Yes, the likenesses between Kylian Mbappe and Henry are uncanny, except that Mbappe is still a teenager while stamping his mark on this tournament, while, 20 years ago, in France, Henry was a year older. David Trezeguet brought a similarly abrupt conclusion versus Italy in the final to make it back-to-back titles for Les Blues.

Having been widely derided before the tournament, Roberto Martinez has arguably been the most astute coach at the tournament.

In between those triumphs, there was a celebrated masterclass against Brazil - all improbable audacity and razor-sharp effectiveness.

Observe the cockamamie case of Thierry Henry.

Considering the attacking strength of France and Belgium, there's potential for a goal-fest when the European neighbors meet in the World Cup semifinals. He scored the most goals, is second in terms of number of caps.

The bookies fancy France after they knocked out both Argentina and Uruguay to reach this stage, but Belgium beat Brazil last time out so can obviously not be discounted.

The verdict remains out on Didier Deschamps.

One goalkeeper will look out and see two of his club teammates on the other side, plus six players he would have opposed at least twice a season during club play. "He is very good in this World Cup with a good defence in front of him", Giroud said in a pre match press conference.

Zidane would never have suffered such a fate in his prime years but the association and thirst for succession remain.

France striker Olivier Giroud is turning Henry's presence on the opposing side into an extra source of motivation for tomorrow's semi-final, which is France's first since 2006 and only the second ever for Belgium.

Mourinho probably nodded on in rueful approval. However, there is a man set to line up in Belgium red a step ahead in that regard.

Kevin De Bruyne's first-half strike of power and precision eventually proved the difference between the sides but throughout the contest, there was something of Zidane's gleeful romp in Frankfurt 12 years earlier running through the Manchester City man's display. But his mastery of the open spaces, both as he tirelessly devours the turf or threads a wonderful array of destructive passes, allayed with deft ingenuity at close quarters make him the nearest approximation of Zizou in football today. Lloris has been criticized during the past year after errors for France and Tottenham.

Croatia, who boast Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic in a strong midfield, emerged through extra-time and spot-kicks against Denmark before going through the same ordeal again against Russian Federation in Saturday's quarter-final. You can see every goal scored from every game just moments after it happens on Twitter, in addition to game previews, recaps and other live programming from Moscow's Red Square with United States soccer greats Landon Donovan and Alexi Lalas.

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