Eden Hazard hit out at France’s anti-football after Belgium’s World Cup semi-final loss.
Samuel Umtiti’s second-half header earned Les Bleus a spot in Sunday’s final, during a tight encounter in St Petersburg.
Belgium dominated much of the opening half and showed more attacking intent.
But after falling behind, they found a resolute, obdurate French side too difficult to break down, with Didier Deschamps’ men happy to defend their lead and play on the counter attack.
That left Chelsea star Hazard with a somewhat bitter taste in his mouth at full-time.
“I prefer to lose with this Belgium than win with that France,” said the Belgium captain.
Hazard’s club and international colleague, Thibaut Courtois, made a similar statement.
“I wouldn’t say the team in front of us was better than us,” he told beIN Sports .
“The team in front of us has defended well with 11 players 35 meters before their goal. And they’ve done this the whole tournament. Against Uruguay they score with a free kick. Today a goal from a corner. Pity, but that’s football.”
Indeed, France’s general tactics have been labelled antivoetbal in Belgium, but Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne offered a more diplomatic take.
“Have I been annoyed by France? No, I play at City. I play against teams that play so defensively 90 percent of the time.
“That is football. What they do, they do well. Both teams have had opportunities. That one goal makes the difference.”