France and Belgium will play the first FIFA World Cup 2018 semi final match, with both European French-speaking teams vying to qualify for the final next Sunday.
This will be the 74th meeting in all competitions between France and Belgium. France won 24 times to Belgium’s 30. They drew 19 times.
This will be the first competitive meeting since the 1986 World Cup, when France won 4-2 in third place clash.
“We will be ready and will adapt ourselves to Belgium’s organisation, whatever it is,” France coach Didier Deschamps said.
He praised Belgium who “are not here by chance. I prepared my players for different possibilities and it’s not linked to Belgium. I work on it whoever we play.” Belgium ousted five-time World Cup champions Brazil in a thrilling 2-1 quarter final clash, and advanced to meet France.
“It was so satisfying against Brazil to see my players executing my plan in such a good way. They displayed great intelligence and adaptability,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said.
Belgium’s Kevin de Bruyne said the team needed to think only about winning to “maximize our chances on the pitch.” He added that both teams have abilities to play in a “spectacular and offensive fashion but the main goal will be to win.” This semi-final will sound almost 100 percent French.
Almost all of the Belgian Flemish-speaking players speak French. Most of the team players speak three languages.
The match will be held in Saint Petersburg Stadium, a capacity of nearly 65,000, which was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurosawa in the shape of a spaceshift.
The Stadium has a retractable roof and its pitch is sliding, to keep it at a temperature of 15 C, even in winter.
Zenit Saint Petersburg have played at the arena since 2017. which has nearly 65,000 seats.
Source: Kuwait News Agency