"I'll show him!" - France's Giroud aims to prove Thierry Henry wrong

Ruben Hill
July 9, 2018

The forward has been criticised by Henry in the past, but he said there were no hard feelings - just his hunger to win.

Yes, the likenesses between Kylian Mbappe and Henry are uncanny, except that Mbappe is still a teenager while stamping his mark on this tournament, while, 20 years ago, in France, Henry was a year older.

The fourth official for the semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday will be Dutchman Bjorn Kuipers, who officiated England's quarter-final victory over Sweden.

'I have already told Henry that I have found out his technique to score goals, ' Lukaku said following the Frenchman's appointment as assistant. 'I'm not yet there, but I'm slowly getting there'.

Yet now the hidden Henry, who has hinted at his ambitions for a senior management career one day, is about to spend an evening as just about the most scrutinised third-down-the-pecking-order coach in history.

Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne: "When you reach the semi-finals of a World Cup you're never going to find ordinary opposition". A lot of responsibility to place on the shoulders of a rookie coach.

Henry was part of the 1998 team that won the World Cup on home turf, scoring three goals in his first major tournament and converting a penalty in a nerve-rattling shoo-out against Italy in the quarter finals. In St Petersburg it will be intriguing to see whether he sticks or twists.

No player has made more successful dribbles in a World Cup match than Hazard managed vs Brazil (9), while the Belgian sensation was fouled seven times on the night, as per WhoScored.com. We can't leave him any space because he's a quality player.

Partly Henry's desire to keep a low-profile is a natural instinct. He has a specific job on the Belgium coaching staff, to coach the attacking players and counsel on strategies; it is part-time role, outside his broadcasting work in English television, and his rank in the Belgian staff hierarchy is well beneath that of manager Roberto Martinez.

"It is freaky to have Thierry against us in this match", Giroud said. "He has been in England a long time and personally I have very little contact with him", Le Graet said.

Henry is France's top goalscorer with 51 from 123 matches, while Giroud - who Henry has criticised in the past - is fourth on the list. "He is there to learn", Giroud said. 'But I'd be proud to show Titi [Henry] that he chose the wrong side. There is a lot of respect between us.

"In the beginning of the match I was a bit surprised by such recommendations, and I thought to myself: if we defended against Brazil with only two players, things might get complicated".

"I can not tell you everything, because we might apply the same plan against France".

Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, N'Golo Kante. the talent on show in St Petersburg and the occasion means the focus should be largely away from Henry.

Without further ado, here is our guide to the World Cup semi-finals.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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