Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
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Eden Hazard slams France after Beglium defeat

Eden Hazard slams France after Beglium defeat

It had been suggested that France needed to step up a level in quality if they were to get past the Belgians and they did just that.

People cheer and wave French flags as they gather at a fan zone in Paris on July 10, 2018 to watch the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium.

'I prefer to lose with this Belgium than win with that France, ' said Hazard afterwards.

France is one win away from returning to the final 20 years after as the host nation it won the 1998 title, when it beat Brazil.

The first match sees France take on Belgium on Tuesday in what promises to be a thrilling encounter between two closely matched teams.

"At the time, there wasn't the jersey of Belgium, that's why we wore the one of France".

"We played together as team-mates and he was much younger and I was at the end of my career".

"I'm pleased for him, he's someone I really appreciate", Deschamps said.

The 19-year-old has three goals already at the tournament. Leading the scoring in this tournament with 14 goals, many thought this could be their year. The former Everton boss used a four-man back line against Brazil after using a three-man defense for the previous four matches. Despite an unimaginably deep pool of talent to call upon, he's never figured out how to get the best from his team on a regular basis.

60 matches have been played and now the 2018 World Cup enters the semi-final stage with the first fixture seeing France take on Belgium at the St Petersburg Stadium. Romelu Lukaku overpowered or ran past most defenders in his path, and his assist to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne netted the eventual game-winning goal.

Forward Kylian Mbappe posted some action pictures from the match and said "WHAT A DREAM". De Bruyne only has one goal thus far, but his presence has impacted every Belgian victory thus far.

Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps is confident he has prepared his players for any tactical surprises his opposite number Martinez might spring.

"It happens sometimes when you play in a foreign club and come back and play against a French team".

"Will they do something similar for us? But after five minutes, I understood why the coach asked us to do that, that's why I say that it's all thanks to the coach; it was he who created this plan and knew how to implement it".

France have no such selection issues and are nearly certain to stick with Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard at right back after a string of impressive displays from the 22-year-old have made him one of the tournament's stand-out defenders. It's the third time France has reached the final in the last six World Cups.

The Chelsea star spoke exclusively with beIN SPORTS ahead of the game in Saint Petersburg, and clear from the start he was unable to divulge on tactical details for his side.

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