Jose Mourinho: 'France's Paul Pogba played with maturity against Belgium'

As France take on Belgium in WC semis, French media goes gaga over Asterix vs Tintin rivalry

As France take on Belgium in WC semis, French media goes gaga over Asterix vs Tintin rivalry

The midfielder used the social media Twitter to post photos of the children with the attached text 'go for the heroes of the day.

And the 19-year-old was overwhelmed at the thought of helping France reach the final in his first appearance at a World Cup. Federation Internationale de Football Association also expressed condolences to the family of a Thai Navy SEAL who died after running out of oxygen during the rescue operation on Friday.

It was France's backline, not its slick attackers, that carried the team to the World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Belgium on Tuesday. "It was a frustrating match".

England defender John Stones says "we're hoping and wishing that they get out safe and sound".

"Paul has grown in the team, he is a very expressive player. We had to defend very deep sometimes", Deschamps said.

Why, even Germany (remember them?) enjoyed a short-lived moment of ecstasy thanks to Toni Kroos' free-kick in Sochi. "Today, a corner. It's a shame for football that Belgium didn't win today".

Samuel Umtiti's 51st-minute header at St Petersburg Stadium sent the French into the final, where they will be seeking their second win since 1998 - when Deschamps captained them on home soil. We lacked a certain spark in front of goal and [France 'keeper Hugo] Lloris made the saves.

On social networks, soccer buffs shared space with more light-hearted commentators, some of whom were more interested in the historical and political ramifications of a final face-off between arch-rivals England and France. It lost in extra time in Paris in the final of the 2016 European Championship to Portugal. He was more creative in terms of recovery of the ball, one-on-ones, he performed very well. "If we do not make it to the final, or do not become world champions, that would also be a disappointment". They were quite tough and obviously Mbappe has great quality.

"There is a spirit in the squad that can move mountains", he said. "Our camaraderie was excellent", he said.

"A few hours after [the Brazil game] the focus was already on the game against France".

"I would have preferred to have Henry on our side, to give me and the other French forwards advice, but I am not too jealous".

With a pragmatic approach, it would be little surprise to see them do it again in 2018 at the set piece World Cup.