The French national team on Wednesday enjoyed a rest day after they secured a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Belgium. On Tuesday night, the French players returned from the Russian city of St. Petersburg, where the semi-final match was held, to their World Cup headquarters in the Istra region near Moscow. Twenty years after winning their first - and so far, only - World Cup, France advanced to the final for the third time thanks to Samuel Umtiti's header off a corner in the 51st minute.
France coach Didier Deschamps was the captain of the squad that hoisted the World Cup trophy 20 years ago in the 1998 FIFA World Cup when France was also the host nation.
France's own supremely talented young squad will aim to make amends for defeat on home soil in the final of Euro 2016 in Sunday's showpiece against England or Croatia.
In a World Cup replete with set-piece goals, a corner again proved decisive when Umtiti timed his run perfectly to meet Antoine Griezmann's delivery six minutes into the second half.
France were thankful for fine saves from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris either side of half-time.
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne warned Kylian Mbappe was ready to take the world by storm on the eve of the game and the most expensive teenager in the history of football showed why inside the first 60 seconds.
(With IANS inputs)