Over the next month, I'll be covering the World Cup for Tribalfootball. And along the way, I'd like to share with you some of my experiences and keep you up to date with all the action.
Keep your head up
Belgium's chances at winning the World Cup are over following last night's loss to France in Saint Petersburg. But was it the last chance at glory for the Red Devils and their 'golden generation'?
You can count on Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, the Red Devils two star players, being in Qatar. Both will only be a touch over 30 in 2022.
Who else? Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Thomas Meunier, Yannick Carrasco, Adnan Januzaj and Jordan Lukaku are all between 23 and 26. Youri Tielemans is still a baby at 21. A replenishing of stocks in the defence department will be needed. Possibly a change of manager? I'm not so sure. Although he made some wrong decisions last night, Belgium mightn't have been in the semi-finals were it not for Roberto Martinez's tactics against Japan and Brazil.
Keep your head up Belgian fans, it's not over yet.
No Cesar and Clara's
I talked before the game about how tickets were still available just hours before the kick-off. Well you could've probably bought tickets at half-time judging by the numbers inside Saint Petersburg Stadium. FIFA stated that only one seat had not been filled, but the photos I took with 70 minutes into the game beg to differ.
It was reminiscent of the Emirates during the end of Arsene Wenger's reign. Only it wasn't Arsenal playing Ludogrets on a cold Thursday night, it was the World Cup semi-final between arguably the best two teams left in the competition.
The lack of overwhelming support for both teams created a strange atmosphere, which at times fell silent enough that could you hear the ball being kicked around from the third level.
That being the said, I have to give the France fans credit for staying behind well after the final whistle to celebrate!
Grasp it with both hands
Alan Shearer has said that the England players will return home as heroes no matter what happens tonight. As if my opinion equates in anyway to the Newcastle legend, but I'm saying he's wrong.
Everything has gone right for England in Russia, including being paired with Croatia tonight. The Vatreni will be exhausted after their last two knockout matches totalled 240 minutes, as well as two stressful penalty shootouts. The Three Lions have no notable injuries, they cruised past Sweden in the last round and obliterated the past with a shootout win over Colombia.
This is England's best chance to make their first World Cup final since 1996. And if they lose tonight, it shouldn't be considered anything less than a disappointment.
A place in the #WorldCupFinal is at stake...#CROENG // #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/tLaznO11aa
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 11, 2018