Doha (Qatar), Dec 13 (Ajit Weekly News) France go into their World Cup semifinals against Morocco as the favourites to repeat their place in the final from 2018, when they also won the title.
The French also reached the final of the 2016 European Championship, where they ended up as runners-up, so Didier Deschamps’s men have the semifinal experience they need to go into Wednesday’s match at Al Bayt with confidence.
Not only do the French have a great record in the semifinals, but this World Cup has seen four players set records to highlight the challenge they pose to rivals.
The first of those is striker Olivier Giroud: The AC Milan forward, who is a clear candidate for this year’s Golden Boot, scored twice against Australia to go level with Thierry Henry’s record of 51 goals for France. He then broke the record with the opening goal against Poland and extended it to 53, with the winner against England last Saturday.
Kylian Mbappe has also broken a record at this World Cup, with the two wonderful goals he netted against Poland taking him to nine goals in World Cups. That makes him the first 24-year-old to reach that total, passing the great Pele’s seven goals by that age.
What is frightening is that Mbappe also has more goals in World Cups at 24 years old than Cristiano Ronaldo in his entire career.
Emphasising the threat the French attack poses in this World Cup, Antoine Griezmann’s two assists against England take his total to 28 for the French national team — beating Henry’s record of 27, although the fact Mbappe already has 18 assists hints that one day that record will be his, reports Xinhua.
And finally, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was one of France’s heroes against England, with a series of fine saves and also winning the mental battle against Harry Kane in England’s second penalty.
Lloris did that in his 143rd appearance for his country, overtaking Lilian Thuram’s record of 143 caps for France.
Not bad for the keeper, some are considered to be the weak link and another record breaker for a team that aims to be the first to win consecutive World Cups.
–Ajit Weekly News
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