- Belgium squad managed by Roberto Martinez is currently preparing to face France in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-final in Saint Petersburg
- French legend Thierry Henry is part of the Belgium camp but Martinez believes that his experience has been key for some of the players in the squad
- The manager also came out in support of his key playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who was heavily criticised after the group stage
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad are currently preparing in Saint Petersburg for their first ever World Cup Semi-Final against the pre-tournament favourites French national team managed by the veteran Didier Deschamps. However, one person who could play a very key role in this encounter not from the field though but from the bench is French legend Thierry Henry, who is currently an assistant to Martinez in the Belgium camp.
Henry the missing piece in the Belgium team
If everything goes perfect, Henry who has voiced his support for his home country all his life will be plotting with Martinez and the Belgium players how to bring down the high flying French unit.
What makes this match even more interesting is the fact that French manager Deschamps was Henry’s team-mate in the French national team during their playing career and were actually said to be good friends.
Henry joined the Belgium squad back in 2016 and has successfully managed to stay out of the limelight till now but now it seems there is no more hiding, tonight at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, the Arsenal legend will be at the centre of the spotlight with his mind only one thing and one thing only, taking Belgium to their first ever World Cup Final.
Speaking ahead of the match about Henry’s presence in the Belgium camp, and how he has helped the squad using his experience and knowledge about the game, Martinez said, “Thierry has brought something very strong in the last two years. He brought experience to our players, an international know-how. He knows what the elite means. He brings calm. He has a lot of attention to the details, focus on all players. A piece of the puzzle that was missing.”
Martinez voices his opinion in full support of Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne, part of the majestic Manchester City team that won the Premier League on the canter last season will be preparing himself to drive his national team to the Final in Moscow on July 15th. He came under some criticism after the group stage but responded brilliantly by playing a key role in Belgium’s two knockout victories.
Defending his star playmaker, Martinez said, “Critics against Kevin before Brazil were unfair. He is a point guard who can bring the ball forward and give it to the attackers. For me, it’s more than a playmaker. We’re used to leaders who slow down the game, who take the time, but he is able to go faster.
Kevin can have different caps, he can play in the axis, eccentric. As a guardian, he can be good everywhere. ”
Belgium and France will be played out at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in front of thousands in the stands and millions glued to their television screen. With the winner of this encounter going on to play either Croatia or England in the big Finale of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on July 15th in Moscow.
WATCH: Brazil v Belgium – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – Match 58
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