France say Thierry Henry in ‘wrong camp’ for World Cup semi

Harry Kane Luka Modric

Harry Kane Luka Modric

Like the playing days of his global manager Didier Deschamps, Kante's silent crusade as an unassuming No 6 in the midst of his celebrity teammates will determine whether France can lift the trophy that has remained elusive to them since it was last held aloft by Deschamps himself in 1998.

Belgium's assistant coach Thierry Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and he will be "plotting his nation's downfall" in St Petersburg on Tuesday, the Daily Mail reports.

Achilles, who also predicted the match winners during the 2017 Confederations Cup, has already made six predictions for the World Cup games.

Kevin De Bruyne was given a more advanced role and he hurt the Selecao time and time again, but Martinez can not spring the same surprise, although he may get some inside knowledge from assistant Thierry Henry, France's record goalscorer.

Pope consoles Brazilian fans * Federation Internationale de Football Association warns Croatian over video * Goal-fest? But he knows that he has been working for two years to prepare for these seven games and that his players have the same commitment toward the goal. A former English Premier League manager, Martinez wanted Henry to not only teach Belgium's players the finer points of the game but, perhaps more importantly, he wanted him to talk about winning with a team that had been weighed down by expectations.

He did not play in the final at the Stade de France, but was in the team which won the European Championship final against Italy two years later in Rotterdam.

The irony that a player who scored 51 goals in 123 global appearances and helped France become world and European champions is now plotting to stop them reaching the final in Russian Federation is not lost on the current French team.

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And that's not sitting well with everyone on the French side. Both players are too slow, and too easily caught on the turn, to be the spine of this Belgium side when Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are the opponents. But the 27-year-old burst onto center stage in knockout matches as Martinez pushed him into a more attacking position.

'That can happen. I am pleased for him to have the job as he is somebody I appreciate. Playing at home it didn't lose a game, blitzing defending champion Brazil 3-0 in the final.

Kane may fancy adding to his tally on Wednesday against a Croatia team that has failed to keep a clean sheet in its last three matches. That was the last competitive match between the two countries but there have been eight worldwide friendlies since.

France did raise a number of questions during the group phase of the competition over whether they were going to be able to live up to the significant hype surrounding their star studded squad.

France have conceded only three goals on the way to the semi-finals, and the central defensive pair snuffed out the attacking threat of Luis Suarez in the quarter-final against Uruguay, barely allowing him a touch in the penalty area. "He is a living legend of French football".

In what could be the most controversial pick of the team, Antoine Griezmann edges out Kylian Mbappe for this last attacking role. "I think that Thierry Henry can be credited with some of the tactical ploys".

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