Hazard to go up against adopted France of his hero Zidane

Hazard to go up against adopted France of his hero Zidane

A slick Belgium side boasting the talents of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku is the only team to have won all its matches in Russian Federation and is the top scorer, with 14 goals.

Hazard's willingness and ability to carry the ball under pressure, jinking past helpless defenders, was in evidence as Belgium claimed their greatest-ever World Cup scalp by beating Brazil in the quarter-finals. "I've not taken the easiest path, but I've enjoyed every element of it".

Belgium are bound for the World Cup final - provided they do not suffer an inferiority complex against France when they face their larger neighbours in Tuesday's semi-final in St Petersburg.

"There is a lot of respect between us". "He always tries to help us win games".

Olivier Giroud might have begun this World Cup on the bench but, from the moment he came on in France's opening match against Australia, Didier Deschamps has been unmoved. Pep Guardiola's side broke plenty of records as they stormed their way to the Premiership last season, but Mourinho is eager to get one over his arch-rival.

"In terms of potential, as well as quality, for me, yes, he already deserves the Ballon d'Or", the 27-year-old Chelsea star said to beIN Sports France, ahead of the Belgium-France World Cup semifinal tomorrow. He's one of only four players to score and assist a couple of times for both, while only Isco and Lionel Messi (both 23) have completed more dribbles than the wing-wizard (22). "He is very good in this World Cup with a good defense in front of him", Giroud said.

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France beat Uruguay with goals either side of half-time from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

But for the last two years he has been serving as one of Belgium coach Roberto Martinez's assistants, his first foray into coaching and seemingly an inspired choice if the rare reviews from the Belgian players are anything to go by.

His predictions could still be right given that Belgium is meeting France in the semifinals and should they qualify; they will meet either England or Croatia. The Atletico Madrid striker was the top scorer in the 2016 Euros, leading host France to the final (where it lost to Portugal in extra time).

Both have played key roles in helping their teams to the last four. He does many things, it is the players around him that benefit. "It doesn't shock me at all".

France's Kylian Mbappe (3 goals) is the highest scoring teenager in a World Cup tournament since Pele scored six in 1958. The Belgians are [2.18] to get to the World Cup final.

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