France’s “Children of 1998” are united by belief (and relatively muted hair styles)

France and Belgium have clashed on the field for more than 12 years, but on Tuesday, in the World Cup semifinal in Saint Petersburg, the stakes will be higher than ever before. Men who usually play side-by-side as professional teammates will instead be pitted against each other as internationals for one night. Then there’s the fact that Les Diables Rouges’ assistant coach Thierry Henry is one of France’s heroes of 1998 (alongside French head coach Didier Deschamps), infusing the match with additional tension as two veterans of the famous black-blanc-beur team square off on the touchline. Yet, for all that Titi has given Belgium—including a “taste for the attack,” in the words of French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët—France and Deschamps retain an advantage: the children of 1998.

Read more of my latest on the French team at this summer's World Cup on The Athletic (here), or click here for the full pdf version.