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One step away from final

Tolisso and France hungry for more

“Allez les Bleus!” France’s football heroes won’t have got much sleep on Friday night after reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The joy for Bayern’s Corentin Tolisso and his teammates after the deserved 2-0 win over Uruguay was huge, with players singing and dancing on their journey from Nizhny Novgorod to the squad’s camp in Istra. A place in the final four is secured, but the 1998 winners aren’t satisfied yet.

“We know we’re a good team,” commented Tolisso, who replaced the suspended Blaise Matuidi against the South Americans and had a hand in both goals. The FCB midfielder was the first to come out of the dressing room, wearing a wide grin on his face. “The difference between a good team and a great team is matches like semi-finals and finals. We want to be a great team,” he added.

Didier Deschamps’ men don’t have much time to recover. On Monday they will travel to Saint Petersburg, where their semi-final match against Belgium takes place on Tuesday evening (20:00 CEST). The Red Devils are through after beating favourites Brazil 2-1. An own goal from Fernandinho and a strike from Kevin de Bruyne were enough for the Belgians to knock out the five-time winners, who pulled a goal back through Renato Augusto.

“We’ll do everything we can to recover as quickly as possible,” said Antoine Griezmann, who set up the first goal and scored the second against Uruguay. “We have a team who can hurt anyone. If we concentrate on our game, we have a great chance to win,” continued the striker. Whether Tolisso keeps his place in the starting eleven against Belgium is doubtful, with Matuidi back from suspension.

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