MX23RW : Monday, July 16 14:27:40
Jul 10, 2018 at 7pm UK at ​ Krestovsky Stadium
Attendance: 64,286
France
1-0
Belgium
Umtiti (51')
Kante (87'), Mbappe (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Hazard (63'), Alderweireld (71'), Vertonghen (90')

Kevin De Bruyne hails Pep Guardiola influence

De Bruyne hails Pep Guardiola influence
© Reuters
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne thanks Pep Guardiola for helping him to "grow a lot as an individual player" over the past 12 months.

Kevin De Bruyne has thanked Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for 'making football easier' as he prepares for Belgium's World Cup semi-final showdown with France.

The 27-year-old was in the running for the PFA Player of the Year award after helping the Citizens to a record-breaking title win last time out, setting up 16 goals and scoring eight of his own.

De Bruyne had slightly less influence for Belgium from a deeper position in their run to the World Cup semis, but he was pushed further forward in the 2-1 win against Brazil last time out and rewarded boss Roberto Martinez with a long-range belter.

Guardiola is the man De Bruyne is most grateful to, though, telling reporters: "He's helped me grow a lot as an individual player, he's made football easier.

"In the national team we do different things. However, we can say that Belgium has a similar style to Manchester City in the sense that we like to play with the ball and attack."

De Bruyne became the 100th different player to score at the 2018 World Cup, excluding own goals, with his strike against Brazil.

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Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and assistant Thierry Henry during the friendly against Costa Rica on June 11, 2018
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