MOSCOW – Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans praised France forward Kylian Mbappe on Thursday.
“He is a great player who played a good match. When you lead 1-0 in the World Cup semifinal, you try to maintain it (keep the lead) and waste time. It’s normal,” Tielemans said in a press conference two days before taking on England in the playoff for third place.
France beat Belgium 1-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals on Tuesday.
“There was frustration from our side ... We are disappointed. We fought, gave it all ... We lost and lost the opportunity to reach a World Cup final,” Tielemans said.
The Monaco midfielder, who played in the wins over Tunisia, England and Brazil, stressed the importance of Saturday’s third-place match.
“I want to win on Saturday. The challenge now is to get the third spot and we should achieve it. Belgium has never been third,” the 21-year-old said.