France

Portugal the underdogs against France and Germany

The three heavyweights were drawn together in a tough-looking Group F for next year's tournament, with a play-off contestant still to be added.

France and Germany will enter as winners of the past two World Cups, while Portugal are preparing to defend the trophy they unexpectedly won in 2016.

Santos' side were also crowned inaugural Nations League champions in June but the wily 65-year-old coach quickly positioned his team as underdogs.

"It will be a strong group, two favourites and a candidate," Santos told reporters.

Pregnant woman killed by dogs in France during hunt in the area

The body of the 29-year-old, who was walking her own dogs, was discovered near the town of Villers-Cotterêts.

She died after "several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs and the head," prosecutor Frederic Trinh said.

Tests on 93 dogs were being carried out in an attempt to establish which of the dogs were responsible for the attack.

Five dogs belonging to the woman were among those being tested.

An autopsy showed that the victim suffered dog bites to the head, torso and arms. Police said they had opened a manslaughter investigation.

Germany suffer historic defeat

It has been a woeful year for Germany's national team, with off-field controversy and a shambolic World Cup campaign attracting headlines for the wrong reason.

In terms of results, Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Netherlands was the worst, as they were comfortably swept aside by Ronald Koeman's young team.

But two of their most crucial defeats came in Russia, as they lost 1-0 to Mexico in their opening group game and were then dumped out before the knockout phase as a result of a 2-0 reverse at the hands of South Korea.

France shocked by video of woman being slapped by harasser

Marie Laguerre shared CCTV video of the man slapping her outside a cafe in the north-east of the capital.

The video has gone viral and coincides with a government push to impose on-the-spot fines for street harassment.

"The first fines should be handed out this autumn," said Equalities Minister Marlène Schiappa.

Offenders will have to pay between €90 (£80; $105) and €750 under a package of measures that was backed by French MPs in May and is set to complete its passage through parliament this week.

France get heroes' welcome in Paris

A 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow on Sunday secured France their second World Cup triumph, sparking non-stop celebrations back home.

Supporters swarmed the Champs-Elysees, Paris' most famous avenue, after the game and saw their heroes projected on to the Arc de Triomphe, with more than a million people reported to have taken to the street in the area to celebrate through the night.

Mbappe wins Young Player award

The Paris Saint-Germain star is the second France player in a row to win the prize, after team-mate Paul Pogba claimed four years ago.

The award, which can only be won by players born on or after January 1, is given to the outstanding young footballer at the finals.

"Technical qualities such as skill, style and charisma are taken into account, but so are other important factors such as a sense of fair play and a genuine impression that the player is playing for the love of the game," according to FIFA.

France 4 Croatia 2

Following a tournament packed with thrills and drama, the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium lived up to what preceded it from the moment Les Bleus hit the front through an 18th-minute own goal by Mario Mandzukic – a cruel role reversal for Croatia's extra-time hero in the semi-final win over England.

Zlatko Dalic's side had started the stronger and levelled through a fine Ivan Perisic strike before the Inter player was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box, as VAR made its first impact upon a World Cup final.

France 1 Belgium 0

Defender Umtiti headed home a corner from Antoine Griezmann in the 51st minute to settle the all-European tie, booking Les Bleus a trip to Moscow and a clash against either Croatia or England.

Goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois both made smart saves to make sure an intriguing game remained scoreless at the interval.

However, Umtiti popped up with the game's telling moment early in the second half, nodding the ball home to score his third international goal.

FIFA semis

Four nations remain in contention in Russia, all European, with a legitimate shot at lifting the trophy in Moscow on July 15.

Pre-tournament FIFA, a 3rd ranked Belgium will take on a 7th placed France this Wednesday July 11.

France followed up a thrilling victory over Argentina in the round of 16 with their most convincing outing of the World Cup with Friday’s 2-0 win over Uruguay.

And while Friday wasn’t Brazil’s day, Belgium shouldn’t expect the same rust from France.

Pogba and De Bruyne eye Zidane path

France are two wins away from emulating their celebrated class of 1998, who prevailed 3-0 in the World Cup final against Brazil on home soil thanks largely to a first-half brace from Zidane.

The ex-Juventus and Real Madrid great was only just getting started.