With initial high starting prices, the Red Devils attackers have failed to provide enough points to compete against more modestly-valued defenders from other sides. Yet, for all that Titi has given Belgium-including a "taste for the attack", in the words of French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët-France and Deschamps retain an advantage: the children of 1998.
"If I didn't score all tournament but we won the World Cup, of course I would take that in a heartbeat", Giroud told a news conference.
"Thierry Henry brings that as an ex-footballer of elite thoughts".
"I'm not jealous. There's a lot of mutual respect".
"But he is someone I really appreciate, I'm happy for him".
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who watched Belgium beat Brazil 2-0 in the quarter-finals, is also expected to attend the semi-final encounter.
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And De Bruyne praised Martinez for instilling a winning mentality in a Belgian squad that believe their time for a major tournament victory has come. "I don't know if he's going to do it, but I congratulate him on being in a semi-final even though he's going to face us".
"What we didn't have was an worldwide who has the knowledge of winning a World Cup, of being a footballer expected to perform in the eyes of the world and how it feels. So I've made sure that my players are prepared for any scenarios from the beginning of the match and during the match as well if it changes".
- Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium in all competitions, with 17 goals and three assists.
Martinez had predicted previous year, after Belgium became the first team to qualify from the European preliminaries, that Henry would have a positive impact on the Belgian players at the tournament.