Henry's World Cup experience the 'missing piece' for Belgium

Olivier Giroud snubs Chelsea teammate when naming World Cup's best

Belgium go into their semi-final against France in St Petersburg on Tuesday on a high after a quarter-win win over Brazil which shattered the notion that their big names are impossible to unite in one team. "I don't feel pressure, but I'm excited about playing in a very special match".

Kevin De Bruyne's World Cup performances are worthy of greater praise, according to Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez. "It's not something you need to travel to Belgium to realise", he said. "His presence, his World Cup experience, it is all a very positive influence", said defender Toby Alderweireld before the start of the tournament. He can stop balls in any area. As soon as the ball gets in to these guys, do not let them face you'.

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. Former German footballer and part of the 1990 World Cup winning squad, Jurgen Klinsmann, coached the U.S. football team between 2011 to 2016.

'Injuries have held this kid back, ' he said.

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"There is still one more step to take, but we're proud of what we've done". In two and four years, we have a lot of players who will still be here with us. "I don't really see the point, whether it's for the French journalists, the foreign journalists, Belgian journalists, or others".

Fellow pundit Alan Shearer felt that while players such as Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann give Didier Deschamps" team something special, victory over Belgium also showed the French are "streetwise'.

'Those guys were there. "Will they do something similar for us?"

After a poor outing against the US in the final tune-up, Giroud, 31, did not start the opener against Australia, but when France struggled against the Socceroos, head coach Didier Deschamps brought on Giroud, who was involved in the buildup that led to the winning goal late in the game.

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