Reflecting as well on the way in which France have played for each other, Les Bleus, despite their manifest attacking talent have been, nearly to a man, willing to sublimate their own individuality for the good of the team. I do not think we played our best offensive game.
If it was Raphael Varane against Uruguay in the quarter-final, it was the turn of his central defensive partner Umtiti in the next round. The chant of Allez les blues (Let's go blue team) erupted frequently from one corner and was carried across the hall.
The lost left Chelsea star Hazard with a somewhat bitter taste in his mouth at full-time.
"But I prefer to lose for Belgium, rather than win for France".
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said luck was against his side."It was a very tight game".
As reported earlier, French squad won 1-0 Belgium thanks to Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti's goal. But his influence was restricted as much by France as it was by the absence of link-up play from Belgium. Last time they played world cup final in Berlin against Italy 2006, which is remembered for Zinedine Zidane's infamous headbutt.
Belgium had won all five matches in Russian Federation coming into their meeting with the French, and had scored 14 goals in the process.
Instead of a trip to Moscow, Belgium will return to St. Petersburg for the third-place match.
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There had been talk earlier on in the tournament that a team could restart if all of the opposition's players had left the pitch. And Gary Southgate , the team's manager, has been coolly running things from the sidelines with the sartorial flair of a Becks .
"There wasn't a lot said in the dressing room after the loss, because there was a lot of sadness", Hazard said. We could easily have come to this stage and frozen. Without the suspended Meunier against France, Martinez's decision to play a back four with Jan Vertonghen and Nacer Chadli in that position, as opposed to a back three which had been effective to that point only looks more freakish with each passing moment.
Martinez added: "It is a difficult emotion to manage - you are disappointed because you have lost the semifinal, and it is hard to see the opportunity of playing another game as a real positive".
The French national team on Wednesday enjoyed a rest day after they secured a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Belgium. France were in the final of the Euros, but I don't want any of my players to be frustrated or disappointed.
Unfortunately, the Tottenham Hotspur player had a night to forget as he was constantly beaten to the ball by the French players, and cut a frustrated look as he constantly committed fouls - very lucky not to have been booked. Over the course of the evening, Kevin de Bruyne moved from right infield to a wider position before settling deeper centrally.
Eden Hazard with the ball at his feet on the edge of the area and Kevin de Bruyne dictating play are unsafe prospects and it was risky business for the French, but when they did get a chance to counter, they were frighteningly quick and equally unsafe.
"Then, we'll need to regroup again".
"This team is nowhere near the level they're going to be capable of, partly because of their age and partly because over the next few years, with us and with their clubs, they're going to have more and more big-match experiences". "This is common ammonia, which is moistened in cotton wool and breathed in", said Bezuglov to Sport.ru.
Lloris is the captain and he played a key role against Belgium, diving to his right midway through the first half to claw away Toby Alderweireld's shot and then getting in front of Lukaku to punch away one of substitute Dries Mertens' many crosses.
Martinez said his team had done well to nullify the French threat from open play and denied that his decision to start Mousa Dembele in midfield had a major effect on the outcome. Griezmann, at 27, still has a future with France.