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"We watched the game today and saw how good they are from dead-ball situations", captain Luka Modrić said. They have everything they need to be a great team and they are a great team.

"The 23 players, we are all very happy that he is there".

It's not compulsory for Neymar but you can understand why his failure to show his face isn't going down well.

When is the World Cup final 2018? "It is an opportunity in our careers and we have to grab it with both hands".

Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Benjamin Mendy will all keep the sly blue flag flying in the World Cup semi-finals. "I'm proud of everyone", said Neymar, who hadn't spoken publicly since the team's elimination in Kazan.

The winners will move on to play for the World Cup, while the losers will have to settle for a third-place playoff. In the past only two other Brazilian coaches have stayed on after World Cup tournaments: Mario Zagallo remained head coach after Brazil's 1970 World Cup win and Claudio Coutinho was maintained after the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.

When the tournament began, not many people predicted a final four consisting of France (No. 7 in Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings), Belgium (No. 3), England (No. 12) and Croatia (No. 20).

France have not reached the final of a World Cup since 2006 - when they lost on penalties to Italy.

But again the five-time world champions are leaving empty handed, unable to make it to the semifinals four years after that humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany at its home World Cup.

Neymar, who scored two goals in Brazil's campaign this year, has been more in news for his play-acting in attempts to draw fouls during matches.

Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium in all competitions (17 goals, 3 assists). But the 2018 World Cup has seen a record number of goals off set pieces (68), a record number of penalties awarded (28) and a record number of own goals (11).

The last quarter-final match was played between England and Sweden.


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