Semi-finalists: What to know?




For the fifth time in FIFA World Cup history, the semi-finals will be all-European. Each of those times it was hosted in Europe (1934, 1966, 1982, 2006 and 2018).

Not the Usual Suspects

The last time the 4 teams qualified for the semi-finals in a World Cup: Belgium in 1986, England in 1990, Croatia in 1998, France in 2006


This will be the 74th meeting between Belgium and France, with the Red Devils holding an edge with 30 victories to 24 for Les Bleus. However, the French have had the better of their World Cup encounters, winning both meetings (1938 & 1986).


Belgium's Roberto Martinez (from Spain) is the first coach to take a team not his nation into the last four since Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari did it with Portugal in 2006. His opposite number Didier Deschamps will coach his 11th match at the World Cup against Belgium, a new French record.


Belgium are the only team to have won all of their matches in Russia so far (5), and they are the top scoring side in the event (14 goals)

Shootout success

Croatia are the second team after Argentina in 1990 to have won two penalty shootouts in the same World Cup. And in the Round of 16 against Colombia, England won their first World Cup penalty shootout – after three previous defeats.

On the run

England are in their third World Cup semi-final, with all three coming in Europe: on home soil in 1966, at Italy 1990 and Russia 2018. Croatia are on two record runs for them: Five World Cup matches without defeat and nine matches scoring in a row.


England’s Harry Kane is the tournament top scorer with six goals. The top goal-getter for the other semi-finalists are: Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku (four goals), France’s Antoine Griezmann & Kylian Mbappe (three) and Luka Modric (two).


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