Fernandinho receives death threats & racist abuse in wake of Brazil exit

Top scorers meet best defence in Brazil v Belgium clash

The Selecao were seen as the favourites to triumph at this summer's competition, and Neymar recovered from a broken foot to feature for the five-time winners in Russian Federation.

The 33-year-old had already been severely criticized four years ago, when he was hauled off at half-time on Brazil's way to a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup. Had the right-back been aged 31 and playing in his fourth World Cup like the careworn Lionel Messi, instead of 22 and playing in his first, perhaps Pavard wouldn't have dared to attempt the sliced, long-distance strike.

Thomas Vermaelen also spoke with the media at a news conference on Sunday and is expecting a hard match against the French.

England face Croatia in the tournament's other semi-final clash after they advanced by easing past Sweden 2-0 in the last eight.

The Selecao piled the pressure on their opponents in a gripping second half, but could only drag one goal back through substitute Renato Augusto's header after Fernandinho's early own goal and a sweet strike by Kevin De Bruyne. Brazil hasn't had the same coach for two straight World Cups since Mario Zagallo was at the helm in 1970 and 1974.

In the round of 16 he correctly predicted that England would beat Colombia, Brazil would overcome Meixco and Uruguay's victory over Portugal.

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"You have to find solutions, you have to find reaction but what you have to find more than anything is the desire and togetherness of a group of players, that they are desperate to perform", Martinez said.

"Hazard is a player with great talent, with much pace and big quality", he said.

Roberto Martinez says that Arsenal legend Thierry Henry deserves huge credit for the work he has done with Romelu Lukaku.

Pope Francis is trying to cheer up Brazilian soccer fans after the team's quarterfinal exit from the World Cup.

"Everything is open, up for grabs", he said.

The Arsenal and France legend is rightly considered one of the greatest forwards of his generation, but on Tuesday night he will be coming up against his native country with Belgium. Lukaku has four but seven of his teammates have scored, too. Ronaldo started the campaign quite poorly in the finals months of 2017, but finished the season scoring 28 goals in his final 22 matches en route to a third consecutive Champions League medal. A match won is only over 90 or 120 mins.

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