July 12, 2018 / 5:05 PM / 2 months ago

Belgium better than England says Meunier as they battle for bronze

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belgium are a better team than England and to finish third at the World Cup is a minimum for their squad, full back Thomas Meunier said on Thursday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Belgium Press Conference - Belgium Training Site, Moscow, Russia - July 12, 2018 Belgium's Thomas Meunier during the press conference REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The two countries meet in the third place playoff in St Petersburg on Saturday and the defender is expected to be back in the line-up after missing the 1-0 semi-final defeat by France on Tuesday because of suspension.

“We are better than England. Winning the match is not an obligation but something we want to do. Third place is a minimum for us,” he told a news conference at the team’s training base in Moscow.

“We beat England in the group phase and so we can do it again.”

Both countries rested regulars for the Group G match in Kaliningrad on June 28 which Belgium won 1-0. The two teams had already secured qualification for the round of 16 before that encounter.

“We want third place for ourselves on a personal level, for those whose supported us over the last years and for all the work we did in qualifiers. We have a fantastic squad and to finish on the podium would be something.”

Meunier admitted Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ of players had likely lost their last chance at World Cup glory after their 1-0 loss in the last four.

“This group could still do something in two years,” he said in a reference to the 2020 European Championship, “but in four years’ time, many will have left.”

“But there are a lot of exciting youngsters coming through who might continue our expedition,” the Paris St Germain player added.

Editing by Christian Radnedge

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