There was a maturity to Paul Pogba's game

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

After a diligent and hardworking performance was pivotal to France's victory over Belgium in the World Cup semi-final, Pogba dedicated the victory to the 12 boys who were pulled out of a cave in Thailand after they were trapped for 12 long days.

The 6ft 3in colossus is yet to open his goal-scoring account at the World Cup this summer, but manager Didier Deschamps likes him due to his hold-up play.

"There is still one more step to take, but we are proud of what we have done". "We were all happy, all hugging", Mbappe said.

"We had to take advantage a bit more in the counter-attacks, but congratulations to my players and my staff".

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.

"It is something exceptional - I am very happy for my players", he said.

"Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago", he said. We had the chance to win the final of the Euros, but we missed a wonderful thing and we must not let this chance pass.

All we can say is that for two of these four sides that answer will come sooner rather than later, as today (*producer jump zoom*): one of these nations is going home. We worked hard defensively. That evenness is why France is the team to beat in the mind of Jeffrey Marcus, publisher of the World Cup newsletter "The Banter". I feel very proud for my group.

Deschamps also recalled France's defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final in Paris two years ago, and revealed it's still weighing on the team.

'They tried to control the game which they did with a fantastic performance by Varane and a very good performance by Pogba, ' Mourinho told RT.