When a big-money move inevitably came, it was Chelsea who won the race in 2012 with a pound sterling32 million ($43 million) capture that now seems like a bargain.
While, Martinez isn't expected to mirror the entirety of his masterplan against France, this newfound setup is the ideal marriage between Belgium's high-flying offensive interplay and resoluteness at the back with the Alderweireld-Kompany-Vertonghen trio coming to the fore against one of the tournament's most potent attacking threats in Brazil. Cunha disallowed a goal by Iran's Saeid Ezatolahi after an assistant referee and the video assistant signaled the player was offside.
Lloris hailed Belgium as the World Cup's most "complete" team and emphasised the need for a team effort to defeat Les Diables Rouges.
Didier Deschamps´ France side failed to fire in their group matches but burst into life in the 4-3 demolition of Argentina as Mbappe overshadowed Lionel Messi and announced his arrival as a new superstar of the game.
Belgium's 27-year-old skipper is far more unpredictable.
If he can do that, then the golden generation could well glitter alongside the World Cup, as the winners of this semi-final would be odds-on favourites to lift the trophy on Sunday.
Belgium's assistant coach Thierry Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and he will be "plotting his nation's downfall" in St Petersburg on Tuesday, the Daily Mail reports. Deschamps will recover Blaise Matuidi, who missed the quarterfinals game vs Uruguay due to a suspension. It signalled the blossoming of the defensive duo of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti, who had managed to keep Luis Suarez and co at bay with rock-solid display at the back. The FC Barcelona centre-back has a knee injury, and his availability will depend on a fitness test closer to kick-off. Belgium is also the only team left to win all their games in regulation time; no draws, and no penalties to decide the victor.
However, this apparent inexperience must not be mistaken for The Red Devils' weakness. The Atletico Madrid striker was the top scorer in the 2016 Euros, leading host France to the final (where it lost to Portugal in extra time). Will Belgium be up to the challenge?
Henderson hopeful on fitness for World Cup semi-final
Vardy was an unused substitute in England's quarter-final win over Sweden on Saturday after picking up a groin injury last week. This trend has powered the rise of teams that traditionally do not do well in World Cups .
The teams will face off at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the 2018 World Cup semifinals.
England's midfielder Jordan Henderson has recovered from his injury against Sweden in the World Cup quarter-final and should be fit to play Croatia in the semis.
Meunier is suspended after tripping Brazil star Neymar and earning a second yellow card of the tournament.
Friends and foes at the same time?Paul Pogba will go against Marouane Fellaini.
Notable: Kylian Mbappe is the first teenager to score twice in a World Cup match since Pele did it against Sweden in 1958.
Fox Sport Asia: "This should be a very intriguing match-up given the depth of talent that these two teams have". It also gives Antoine Griezmann space to roam. Lukaku is on four goals and Griezmann and Mbappe have three each.
They rank 17th in the tournament for touches inside the penalty area (12.53 per game), and only 25.7% of their shots are on target, the seventh lowest in the World Cup. Both matches happened during the Round of 16. "We've been confident from the start and we're not asking any questions of ourselves". One where the stakes will be extremely high between two attacking-minded sides.
"I don't think there's an easy answer for that because Mbappe is an exceptional player under those circumstances".
These tests are being run in 25 markets across the US and Google says that local news has gotten "strong engagement" so far. Rather than recommending a video first, the algorithm will point to a text-based story surfaced by Google News.
Clooney was traveling on a state road in Costa Corallina, a province of Olbia, when the crash occurred, Italy's TGCOM24 reported. Sardinia is a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea and is over 500 miles from Clooney's villa in Lake Como.
The introduction to the statement read "In response to Donald Trump's nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States". The nomination, if confirmed by the Senate, would represent one of the most consequential decisions of Trump's presidency.
The boys were carried out on a stretcher on Tuesday, making them the first two to come out on the rescue's third day. It is understood that the British divers participating in the rescue specifically asked for Dr Harris' expertise.
It's also a big win for Germany, one of the few countries allowed to send a doctor to China past year to examine Liu Xiaobo. He was later released but remained closely monitored, according to friends of the family, and is still in China.
The new configuration is available only on the midnight black color option, while the other color options now top out at 128GB. With the introduction of the new colour variant, the company has extended the variant range of its latest flagship device.
The person also "repeatedly shouted obscenities" at Bannon, Cooke said in a statement posted to the bookstore's website . The Richmond Police Department confirmed that it received a call Saturday about someone yelling at a political figure .
Catherine's parents, her sister and brother-in-law Pippa and James Matthews and her brother James will also be in attendance. Meghan Markle only officially joined the royal family two months ago, but she's already sounding the part.
According to reports, he may also be unable to afford legal representation following a failed appeal against his divorce. The 35-year-old was taken to a police station in north London on Saturday, the Daily Mirror Sport reported.
Tusk recalled that the Europeans are spending more than Russian Federation and as much as China on defence. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all", he said as he boarded Marine One on his way to Europe .
Updates as Theresa May meets her new-look cabinet
The Frenchman said:"Once again, I regret profoundly the vote of the United Kingdom , we respect it and we will implement it". But she told MPs: "We do not agree on the best way to deliver our shared commitments to honour the result of the referendum".
George Clooney suffers minor injuries in Italy scooter crash
According to the site, George was said to be hit by a vehicle which suddenly changed direction at a spot close to a hotel. Sardinia is a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea and is over 500 miles from Clooney's villa in Lake Como.
Baby found buried alive in Missoula County mountains
He was subsequently released after OR officials decided not to extradite him, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said. "This is what we call miracle", reads a Facebook post from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office in Montana.
Varner, Kraft tied for lead at Greenbrier in West Virginia
The 27-year-old recorded one of only two bogey-free laps on Moving Day (John Peterson) and is blemish-free for his last 42 holes . On Thursday, despite a fine start, Lahiri was lying tied 24th as Webb Simpson , who shot 9-under 61, led by a shot over Whee Kim.
Nadal, Federer ease into Wimbledon quarter-finals
Elsewhere, Milos Raonic beat Mackenzie McDonald in four sets to reach the quarter-finals for the third year in a row. The trio have all won at least two Wimbledon titles but Rusedski believes Federer will come out on top once again.
George Clooney in auto accident in Sardinia, Italy
The paper also tweeted a photo of his scooter abandoned by the side of the road with a Mercedes estate vehicle just feet away. La Nuova also reports that George's wife, Amal Clooney , rushed to be by his side when she heard news of his hospitalization.
Profiles: Matt Hancock and Jeremy Wright
Mr Buckland said there had been a realisation that "we all hang together or we all hang separately". Johnson had resigned , saying the Brexit "dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt".
Four More Boys Pulled From Flooded Thailand Cave
Soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out in time. So far eight boys aged between 12 and 16 have been led out of the cave system by a team of expert divers over two days.