Deschamps says France proved mettle; ready for Brazil or Belgium

Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford

Uruguay captain Diego Godin praised his team mates as "lions" after reaching the World Cup quarter-finals but falling 2-0 to France, and said goalkeeper Fernando Muslera's error for the second goal should be forgiven.

Now, Belgium and France are set to play a semifinal match next Tuesday.

With those three teams - three of the game's big powers, and three popular picks to win the World Cup before the start of the tournament - out, the road to World Cup glory and soccer immortality feels wide open for the remaining teams.

"Watching him in day-to-day training, I can tell you that even in small spaces "the little guy" is strong", he said.

It's the latest surprise in a tournament full of upsets, which has included Spain's shocking loss to Russian Federation in the knockout rounds and, even more surprisingly, Germany crashing out of the group stage.

Giroud, meanwhile, has now played a total of 380 minutes in Russian Federation and, of the seven efforts at goal he has had in his five appearances, none of them have been on target.

"We have people who know how to manage a game".

Brazil's World Cup misery continues at the hands of Belgium
But it was too late for Brazil to muster an equalizer as Courtois thwarted several efforts to force the game into extra time . That set up the game nicely for a manic finish in which a clearly rattled Belgium failed to regain their attacking momentum.

Instead, the former Arsenal frontman - who moved to Stamford Bridge for about £18m in January - is preferred for his link play with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, who have made most of the headlines with their goals in Russian Federation. Everyone works hard in attack and defence. We have to continue working but when we focus on our style, we have a better chance of winning.

"He does many things for the team to be balanced, and it is the players around him that benefit from his presence because he attracts a lot of attention from the defenders".

The quarterfinals get underway on Friday, when France battles Uruguay as heavy -105 favourites, followed by a clash of soccer titans as Brazil takes on Belgium as +110 chalk.

"I don't have a preference who we play - we have observed both of them from the beginning of the competition, so let's see what awaits us".

"Against Argentina we grew and it wasn't easy".

"I was also playing against friends, so I thought it was normal not to celebrate".

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