England fans make late dash to Russian Federation for World Cup semi-final

Thomas Vermaelen considers Belgium to be genuine World Cup title contenders

Thomas Vermaelen considers Belgium to be genuine World Cup title contenders

Deschamps was captain when France won its first World Cup in 1998, a victory which sparked an outpouring of national pride and jubilation still vivid for millions.

ESPN's Charlie Gibson is in St Petersburg to take in all the sights and sounds of France's World Cup semifinal win over Belgium.

Elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs extracted the final batch of four boys, plus the 25-year-old coach, via a treacherous escape route that required them to squeeze through narrow, water-filled tunnels in darkness.

Les Bleus are headed to the World Cup final.

But FIFA said it had been informed "that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow". They worked in '98 and we worked today, we reached out target to get to the final. But we have this opportunity to give them some joy by breaking barriers in our own small way.

A Reading Buses spokesman said: "We believe. I think it's going to be incredibly loud in any bar we end up going to for the match".

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But De Bruyne's best moments came when he combined with Eden Hazard on the opposite side of the pitch to the one he was stationed on, and Belgium missed his ability to pick a pass, with striker Romelu Lukaku mostly deprived of service.

"It is something exceptional - I am very happy for my players", he said. "For us he was as important against Panama and Tunisia as he was against Brazil".

One thing to keep an eye on in this match is the legs and how exhausted the players will be, especially with Croatia. "It was hard to take two years ago, and we do not want a repeat of that".

A win for England would help erase World Cup futility.

Some may see this as a negative, but England's set-piece prowess is only a good thing, as they look a threat at every corner and free-kick that they get. It is in the knockout rounds that I hit my stride, though, and I hope to continue like this.

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