France vs Belgium: Umtiti, Mbappe, Kante miss France training

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud stretches to try to reach the ball as Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud stretches to try to reach the ball as Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic

Retired French striker Henry is now a member of the Belgium coaching staff. However, when they turn into symbols of competing nationalisms, as it will be seen in St Petersburg where Belgium and France will vie for a place in the World Cup final (the French have a 2-1 lead in the mega tournament), then the task to find a difference between them will be too hard.

Belgium will take on France in the semi-finals on Tuesday and Martinez's assistant, Henry, will come up against his country of birth with a place in the World Cup final at stake.

"I would be proud to show Titi that he chose the wrong camp", Giroud said yesterday, referring to Henry by his nickname.

"For me, he is one of the three best players I have ever played with in my whole career". "Give it time - we will see after the Belgium match". Henry did not play in the 3-0 final victory for Les Bleus over Brazil.

Just like players are free to choose which country or club they want to play for provided they abide by the law, similarly former players can not be judged by which country they decide to coach. "There is potential for progression and this experience here should help them", said the French boss.

The Red Devils" "golden generation' face the losers of England's game with Croatia in Saturday's third-fourth play-off before going home. "He is there to learn", Giroud said. "I'm sure he's learning on a daily basis and giving good advice to the Belgians". "It doesn't shock me at all".

Giroud, now with Chelsea, says he bears no hard feelings. "I am not at all bitter about that".

Giroud, acknowledges the physical differences between the pair but joked they do have one thing in common.

"He's a living legend of French football and we have a lot of respect for him".

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