Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Umtiti hails France pal Pogba: A real leader on and off pitch

Umtiti hails France pal Pogba: A real leader on and off pitch

"I feel ill", said Denis Backaert, 34, after watching France prevail 1-0 in the tightest of semi-final encounters between two sharp sides in St. Petersburg. We'll see if it can get even better this afternoon.

Pogba, 25, was instrumental in the semi-final win in St Petersburg, as Samuel Umtiti's goal in the 51st minute put the 1998 champions in the World Cup final against the victor of Croatia and England.

France have been improving throughout the tournament and have beat Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium in the knockout rounds without needing extra time or penalties.

Paul Pogba hopes to add a star to his France shirt by winning the World Cup, two decades after their only triumph in 1998.

The loser of that match will battle Belgium for third place in the consolation match Saturday.

"This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong", Pogba wrote on his official Twitter account after Samuel Umtiti's headed goal put France in Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow, where they will play Croatia or England.

Roy Keane tears into England fans for getting carried away
Keane stuck to his original point, though, replying: "I don't mind you being happy, but you were getting carried away. Mr Keane criticised the way they were planning parades and thinking about the final before they even got there.

Mbappe plays for Paris Saint-Germain at the club level.

In response, Kylian Mbappé had one thing to say to the jibes from Belgian players: "If I offended them, I apologise".

One thing to keep an eye on in this match is the legs and how exhausted the players will be, especially with Croatia.

"Finals have to be won".

But Pogba has enjoyed an impressive World Cup for France and excelled against Belgium in Tuesday's 1-0 semi-final win, a performance that earned him high praise from his coach Didier Deschamps and compatriot Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager.

Giroud, 31, kept his starting spot for France in the semi-final clash and has started five of his nation's six matches in the tournament so far.

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