At a news conference Thursday, Lukaku said Belgium's disappointing experience at the 2016 European Championship showed nothing should be taken for granted in football and that Brazil will provide a "benchmark" for his team. Now, except for Brazil, none of them are in the last eight.
The powerful Ante Rebic has impressed as well, fresh from scoring twice for Eintracht Frankfurt in their German Cup final win over Bayern Munich. "It's quite exciting. No doubt about that". Six days on, the outcome of their quarter-final clash with Uruguay could be largely determined by the extent to which the 19-year-old Monaco frontman can outshine the South American side's vastly experienced duo of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
With perennial challengers Germany, Spain, and Argentina all having exited a tournament that has thrown up a never-ending series of surprises, the draw has a distinctly unbalanced feel in terms of the talent weighing on either side.
"Luka is our captain and leading player and one of the world's best players". Just tune in to KOAA, during sports, to get 90 seconds worth of the best highlights instead.
It was 1994, and the Swedes made a similar run to the latter stages of the World Cup.
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He also upped his threat to go further - saying he'd target up to US$500 billion of Chinese goods if they retaliate. But China is not the only country to find itself in Washington's crosshairs lately when it comes to trade.
Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov knows that most of the 48,000-strong crowd will be supporting the home side but the moustachioed former goalkeeper has shown little interest in participating in the national outpouring of emotion.
Substitute Renato Augusto gave Brazil hope with just under a quarter of an hour to go with a deft header into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Much of the focus surrounding Brazil's challenge has inevitably been on Neymar. The most popular mariachi hat in the World Cup is black with the red, white and green colors of the Mexican flag embroidered on the sides and "Mexico" written on top. Now, I feel that Brazil stands a chance.
"Against Spain they used a different system, but you must adapt to every team you play against".
But first, the world´s most expensive player and his star-studded supporting cast have to get past Belgium, who boast an array of their firepower, to reach the semi-finals. One of the downsides is those tourists' desires to wash off the sweat-stress of watching their favorite teams compete in the tournament in the sweltering heat. I feel it's going to be France.
Meanwhile, Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh says that after England broke their penalty jinx, there's a lot of talk that it'll be their World Cup. They play like they have nothing to lose. But that wasn't there this time.