A day after scoring his first goal of the World Cup, France defender Raphael Varane has turned his thoughts to how his team can stifle Belgium’s potent attack when the sides meet in Tuesday’s semifinal in St Petersburg. Varane, who headed home Antoine Griezmann’s free kick to open the scoring for France in their 2-0 quarter-final victory over Uruguay on Friday, said he was pleased at how France’s relatively young team was maturing as they progressed. “I’m happy to have been decisive (by scoring). It’s a great pleasure,” the Real Madrid centre back told reporters on Saturday. “We were faced with a physical challenge yesterday and we dealt with it.
“Experience counts in these big competitions and it helps to avoid small mistakes. We have a relatively young team, but we’ve shown maturity and have been growing since the tournament started. “We’re solid defensively and have been able to adapt to our opponents. We can also vary our game, which it is a massive strength.”
Belgium showed plenty of attacking flair in their 2-1 win over Brazil in the other quarter-final and Varane singled out forward Romelu Lukaku and playmaker Eden Hazard as two of the players the French would have to be wary off.
“It’s a World Cup semi-final… there are no favourites,” he added. “We’ll have to outdo ourselves and give our best, take each match as it comes, and see how far we can go.
“Belgium are young, but they are maturing. We know it will be a tough match…. Romelu Lukaku’s physicality can trouble any defence. We can’t leave him any space because he’s a quality player. “As for Eden, I’ve already played against him when he was at Lille. He has great qualities and is a good dribbler. We can’t give him any space either, so it is going to take a collective effort.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from LEADERSHIP Nigeria Newspapers. Contact: [email protected]
COVER STORIES9 hours ago
NASS Adopts 4th Version Of Electoral Amendment Bill
NEWS21 hours ago
Cash Transfer Programme Kicks Off In Abuja
NEWS11 hours ago
Proposed West African Science Academy Will Spur Regional Devt – Onu
NEWS10 hours ago
‘We ‘ll Not Allow Obaseki Suffer Ambode’s Political Ordeal’
NEWS13 hours ago
Russia Blames Israel For Shooting Down Plane
ENTERTAINMENT10 hours ago
Linda Ikeji Shows-off New Born Baby
NEWS15 hours ago
Poor Masses, Buhari’s Strongest Support Base – Oshiomhole
COVER STORIES9 hours ago
Dariye Picks APC Nomination Form From Prison