World Cup 2018 semi-finalist's records

July 09, 2018
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With historic penalty shootouts, controversy surrounding the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and the unexpected knockout of some of the world’s biggest teams, we are at the door of the 2018 FIFA World Cup’s thrilling climax.

After weeks of superb football and 60 fantastic games, it all comes down to France, Belgium, England and Croatia fighting for a spot in the World Cup 2018 final.

Here, we look at each team’s World Cup semi-final record.


France vs Belgium World Cup semi-final

France super star Kylian Mbappe


France 

Crowned World Cup winners in 1998, France play neighbours Belgium in the first of this week’s semi-finals on Tuesday in what promises to be an enthralling encounter. 

The last time France reached a World Cup semi-final was in 2006, where the French defeated Portugal 1–0 to set up a final showdown with Italy. France would end up losing finalists, going down to the Italians on penalties. 

What they’ve said about their 2018 semi-final: 

France manager, Didier Deschamps: "You can see our lack of experience sometimes, but we have so many qualities too. In any case, it definitely won't be a failed World Cup now, and we'll wait to find out our opponents and see what happens."

Belgium team celebrates

Belgium

The last, and only, time Belgium reached a World Cup semi-final was in 1986 when they took on South American heavyweights Argentina. After losing 2-0, Belgium were sent packing and defeat to France in the third-place match saw them finish the tournament in fourth place.
 
In Russia, Belgium is the only side with a perfect record so far and one more win will see their “Golden Generation” through to its nation’s first World Cup final.

What they’ve said about their 2018 semi-final: 

Belgian defender, Thomas Vermaelen: "We can be proud of what we performed already. We want to go further now and not give up. We have to believe in our chances and hopefully win it. France is one of the favourites to win this World Cup. It can be a difficult game. Our ambition goes further than reaching the semi-finals. Everybody in the team is happy now but there has always been a great atmosphere.”


England vs Croatia World Cup semi-final 

England captain Harry Kane

England

With its last World Cup win coming in 1966 and it’s last semi-final 28 years ago at Italia ‘90, England’s upturn in form this time around has rejuvenated a football mad nation that had little expectation heading into the tournament.
  
Their last semi-final appearance in Turin saw England exit on penalties to old rivals West Germany, a match that still haunts a generation of England supporters and players.  

What they’ve said about their 2018 semi-final: 

England captain, Harry Kane: "We know there is a big game ahead with the semi-final but we are feeling good and we're confident. We just have to go again. We are enjoying it and we've got to keep doing what we are doing and make the country proud."

Croatian Captain Luka Modrić

Croatia

Croatia last reached the World Cup semis in 1998 when they played hosts France and lost 2-1. 
Croatia and England have gone head-to-head several times in the past, with their last outing a forgettable one for the Croats as they were thrashed 5-1 during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.  

But if we’ve learned anything from World Cup 2018 it’s that history doesn’t count for much and that no-one should be written off.

What they’ve said about their 2018 semi-final: 

Croatia manager, Zlatko Dalic: "They [England] are really good at set-pieces and their tall players are dangerous at corners. I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is really fast and his combination with Harry Kane is really dangerous. But we believe in our strengths, too. We don't fear England or anybody else."

Who do you think will win the 2018 World Cup? Share your predictions with us on social media using #CheerwithOSN

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