Kevin De Bruyne has developed into a "leader" for Belgium and is "essential" to their World Cup chances, says coach Roberto Martinez. When you've gone into a tournament and haven't had the know-how of winning a tournament, you can't have the advantage. The signs are positive and of a real desire to be on the football pitch.
Brazil won the 1994 World Cup final by defeating Italy in a shootout following a goalless draw, eliminated the Netherlands on penalties to make it to the 1998 final and advanced to the quarterfinals four years ago by ousting Chile the same way.
Chelsea have been well represented in Russian Federation, with the Blues star duo two of those lucky enough to still be in the competition after a dramatic group stage and last 16 phase.
Along with the return of Marcelo, Fernandinho will also come into the Brazil side.
That 3-2 victory over Japan was the first time a team has overcome a two-goal deficit to win outright since West Germany beat England in 1970, and the first to do it in regulation since Portugal came from three down to beat North Korea in 1966.
The most talented Belgium team for decades face the ultimate test on Friday when they take on the five-time winners in Kazan for a place in the semi-finals. Set to replace Casemiro in the middle of the park, the Manchester City midfielder will have some big shoes to fill, although he is more than capable to fill in for Casemiro.
"The greatest challenge of a World Cup is having mental fortitude".
Which TV channels will broadcast the FIFA World Cup 2018 Brazil vs Belgium Quarter-Final match?More news: England clinch first World Cup shootout win in intimidating sea of yellow
Brazil are unbeaten in their last 15 matches in all competitions (W11 D4), conceding just three goals in that run.
- Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 19 goals in his 18 games for Belgium under Martinez, scoring 10 and setting up nine.
Belgium, meanwhile, are the tournament's top scorers, banging in 12 goals in their four games so far.
Which nation actually has the better players?
What Belgium have is a free-scoring side - 12 in their four games to date - whose attacking patterns, as shown in the manner of Nacer Chadli's scintillating victor against Japan, are more sophisticated than those of anyone else left in the tournament. That's a tough one to answer, but Brazil are certainly the better collective.
Everything you need to know ahead of Brazil and Belgium's quarter-final match on Friday. "I don't see that as a valid result".