France vs Belgium, a short history

  • France vs Belgium, a short history

France vs Belgium, a short history

Henry, a World Cup and European Championship victor with France as well as their record goalscorer, is now in the Belgium camp as assistant manager.

Henry is one of the biggest legends to ever come out of France, winning the World Cup on home soil in 1998 before following it up two years later with victory in the European Championships.

The Belgian team, which leads the tournament scoring in Russian Federation with 14 goals in its five World Cup matches, will rely on someone with an intimate knowledge of France on Tuesday: former France striker and current Belgium assistant coach Thierry Henry.

"It is a hard situation for him". But he is still French and still means a great deal to French football. It's an advantage to both teams.

There will be a "hunger to win" and a desire to show Henry that he picked the wrong side, France forward Olivier Giroud said.

The 19-year-old has three goals already at the tournament.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told AFP pointedly that "we've rather lost sight of him and he has little contact with the federation".

"Life can be like that sometimes". For the longest time, the golden generation may have underperformed, but Belgium now look to be coming back into their elements and they've been fantastic so far, especially when they were tested by Japan - we could see the fighting spirit. He is an obvious, natural role model for any forward, and the ideal one for, say, a precious, strong pacey striker who, like him, was born on the outskirts of Paris, and, like him, served his apprenticeship at Monaco and, like him, scored crucial goals to galvanise a World Cup campaign.

He compared Henry's early steps in coaching to those followed by Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid before he took the top job and went on to win three Champions League titles in a row.

"It is definitely better to start as assistant in a national team, even if he was hoping it would be in Arsenal's staff", Le Graet said. "There is no doubt that he has a career in coaching ahead of him".

Henry, now sporting a thick beard, is happy to remain in the background as Martinez, a former manager of English clubs Wigan and Everton, does the talking to the media.

With Eden Hazard pulling the strings and Romelu Lukaku providing the firepower, Belgium have what it takes to beat France.

France & Belgium will meet on Tuesday evening, with a place in the World Cup finals on the line.

That's because coach Roberto Martinez believes the Manchester City midfielder is such a talented player, he could start virtually anywhere on the field and he'd excel. His standout performance against Uruguay, which amounted to a monumental defensive effort from the French which earned him his spot here, earning 66.5 points in their quarter-final win and a consistent performer before that. I thought it was wonderful how he did it, how he worked it out and how the players did it.

Giroud, who like Henry was an Arsenal forward until he joined Chelsea past year, wishes Henry were on the French staff. "But we are not going to forget the others since France has a very complete attacking pattern". But we can't be envious. "It doesn't shock me at all".