Martinez urges Belgium to be confident
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has urged his team to play with freedom as they prepare to face France in the World Cup semi-finals.
Belgium continue to impress in Russia and they booked their spot in the final four on Friday night with a 2-1 win over Brazil.
An own goal from Fernandinho put Belgium in front before Kevin De Bruyne doubled their advantage. A late reply from Renato Augusto was not enough and Belgium reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1986.
Martinez’s men are now unbeaten in 24 matches in all competitions but the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are set to push them all the way.
Despite the pressure, the former Everton coach has urged his troops to play with freedom when they meet Didier Deschamps’ side in Saint Petersburg.
He told ESPN: ‘This group has to play with no fear at all. If we approach this match with fear within us, we will bring ourselves down and we’d be able to do so much less than what we can actually do.
‘To play without fear would probably be the one thing which would help us the most.’