Everything you need to know about World Cup finalists France

Sherman Parsons
July 11, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated his French Counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Team France's victory over Belgium and advancement to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final, the Kremlin press service said early on Wednesday.

England did not have an overly hard route to the semi-final but they have overcome every obstacle they faced with some solid performances.

Dozens of English soccer fans began heading for Moscow in a last-minute rush on Tuesday in an effort to be part of a potentially historic sporting moment as England take on Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals.

Sixty eight percent of Russians surveyed by pollster VTsIOM said they watched the match against Croatia, while data from MediaScope showed the game attracted similar viewing figures to President Vladimir Putin's New Year address, traditionally one of the mostly widely watched programs on TV. The French were powered by a determined and organised performance.

Now I think a lot of questions have been answered in saying that this is a team, not a group of individuals. England's Harry Kane now looks set to take home the Golden Boot Award with six goals, but France's Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are lurking with three apiece. Losing teams in the semi-final matches play each other for third place.

Samuel Umtiti's 51st minute header gave France the win and Deschamps said he had already seen scenes of celebration which reminded him of his success as a player when France last won the World Cup in 1998.

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But Southgate revealed he could not listen to it for many years.

"For me, Kevin De Bruyne is the modern playmaker", he said. "His discipline, which he's been called out for beforehand, seemed to come into play".

"We need to understand it's an important game, but I accept it's very hard after a game with the emotions we had today".

"I'm very proud of their mentality as well because I know it's not just that you are playing at a high level that you are going to score goals but with our state of mind we can climb mountains and that's what we've done so far".

"It is important that we stay like that, keep going and hopefully we achieve something to make it even more special to get to the final and win it".

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