Vermaelen Sets Sight On World Cup Glory

Says Belgium can be proud of achievement so far

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Soccer Football - World Cup - Belgium Press Conference - Belgium Training Camp, Dedovsk, Russia - July 8, 2018 Belgium's Thomas Vermaelen

Belgium defender, Thomas Vermaelen, says now that his country have find themselves in a World Cup semis, they just want to go out there for the top honour.

Vermaelen speaks in a news conference, some 48 hours ahead of the semi-final against France in St Petersburg.

“We [Belgium and France] play exactly the same system, as we always play – very attacking. You always have to consider the quality of your opponents. It would be very naive if you just always play your own game and don’t think your opponent.”

He continues:

“What we’ve performed in this world cup – reaching the semi finals is a big achievement. But I think we want to go further now and don’t give up. And I think we have to believe in our chances to get to the final and eventually win.”

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez arrives for the official press conference at the eve of his side’s knockout match at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia. AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Meanwhile, Belgium Head coach, Roberto Martínez, has stressed the importance of having France legend, Thierry Henry, in Belgium’s national team set-up.

Frenchman, Henry, a former World Cup winner is Assistant to Martínez – a position he has held since 2016.

“He’s had experience, he’s had experience into the World Cup of understanding what’s needed as a player to win the World Cup. And that’s essential, because nobody else has the experience of winning the World Cup in the group,” Martínez points.

Belgium takes on France tomorrow [Tuesday] in the first World Cup semi-final. It is just the third time these two nations have met in a World Cup. France won a 1986 meeting on penalty kicks and cruised 3-1 way back in 1938. Belgium won a 4-3 friendly in 2015, the last time these nations clashed. The winner heads to the 2018 World Cup final on July 15.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, is expected to commission the match.

 

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