As is the case in the geographic sense, in which France and Belgium share a border, there's no apparent distance between the teams.
Rather than add up the combined transfer values of Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé, or coo over the pass-completion statistics of N'Golo Kanté, the France coach suggested that any manager contemplating a World Cup semi-final is unusually blessed. France have always been a superpower of world football, albeit with a share of ups and downs, while Belgium have been a coming force for a while.
But their secret weapon could be on the sidelines in the shape of one of France´s greatest players of all time, Thierry Henry, who is now head coach Roberto Martinez´s assistant.
"I do not want to denigrate the Belgium team of the time, there were very good players, but at that time, it was France". He is on the bench and facing his home nation.
French striker Olivier Giroud thinks Lloris has the edge over Courtois, his club teammate at Chelsea.
"He is first and foremost French. He has a lot of passion for football and he will be with the Belgians, giving everything to help his team".
He said Henry had made Belgium into "a team that likes to attack".
Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said Henry might sing France's national anthem before the game, but his loyalties firmly lie with his new side. But this is a hard situation, it is not easy for him'.
Belgium wing-back Thomas Meunier is suspended so will miss the match in St Petersburg.
Mbappe announced himself on the world stage with a scintillating performance in France's 4-3 win over Argentina at the last-16 stage, scoring two quick-fire goals.
The French then showed their steel in the 2-0 disposal of Luis Suarez and Uruguay in the quarter-finals.
Belgium were seen as underachievers at that point, particularly after losing to Wales in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.
France vs Belgium tomorrow night is the sort of star-studded semifinal that the World Cup deserves.
"He plays an extremely important role for Martinez", Pfaff said. They play according to the situation.
Tuesday's World Cup semifinal sees two of the strongest teams in the tournament face off but is still considered something of a surprise. Captain Harry Kane has six goals already and is on target to win the Golden Boot.
Top stat:Lukaku has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 13 games for Belgium in all competitions - three assists and a whopping 17 goals.
Croatia can count on Real Madrid´s midfield talisman Luka Modric, named man of the match three times in Russian Federation, but his teammate Andrej Kramaric says England´s lack of superstars is what makes them a cohesive unit. Yes, in the game against Japan, he had to throw on his more aerial players in a bid to secure that sensational comeback victory but he outdid Brazil with a tactical masterclass where his team attacked the five-time champions at will.
Domagoj Vida is available for Croatia after Federation Internationale de Football Association opted to only give the defender a warning after he made pro-Ukraine comments in a social media video following his team's quarter-final win against hosts Russia on penalties.
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It was a family affair for the Middletons, who all stepped out on Monday afternoon to celebrate Prince Louis' christening. Prince Harry bought a very special (and expensive) christening gift for Prince Louis , who is due to be christened today.