Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Macron, Putin to mix football and diplomacy at World Cup final

Macron, Putin to mix football and diplomacy at World Cup final

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris to celebrate the team's semi-final win over Belgium in scenes that are expected to be replicated on a much bigger scale in the event of a final victory Sunday.

While Asterix is a Frenchman, Tintin - the daring journalist - has Belgium as his home.

Pogba also received praise from his manager Didier Deschamps, who paid tribute to the discipline he showed as France moved into their first World Cup final since 2006.

Tintin and Asterix have always been rivals in the world of the comic strips for both are popular for their entertainment and art.

Thomas Vermaelen picked out Kylian Mbappe as the major threat to Belgium's chances of making their first appearance at a World Cup final, saying the 19-year-old forward can "decide every match in a flash".

France began dreaming of World Cup glory after a two-decade wait after Les Bleus on Tuesday defeated Belgium to reach the final, unleashing a wave of soccer euphoria across the country.

In the other semifinal in Moscow on Wednesday, July 11, England will take on Croatia.

"This is just one more step, albeit a very important one". We lacked a certain spark in front of goal and [France 'keeper Hugo] Lloris made the saves. But he should be thinking very carefully about how Deschamps has got the best out of Pogba at this tournament.

LONDON - England's 1966 World Cup hat trick hero Geoff Hurst says Gareth Southgate's young team can match the achievement of Alf Ramsey's men and go all the way in Russian Federation. "If we do not make it to the final, or do not become world champions, that would also be a disappointment". But we hit them hard at times and, with a bit more precision, we could have hurt them even more.

"There is a spirit in the squad that can move mountains", he said.

"The Euro was too lovely; I still have that on my mind".

"No, no, I think when you are in the semi-final of the World Cup it's a unique moment in anyone's career and I don't think you switch off".

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