Saturday’s loss to France means the World Cup dream is over for England.
But four teams – Argentina, Croatia, France and Morocco – remain in Qatar, each still hoping to lift the trophy within a week.
It’s a semi-final that few could have foreseen, but with many intriguing storylines that could unfold over the next few days…
Is this Messi’s moment?
The most obvious semi-final subplot concerns Lionel Messi and whether the Argentine superstar can win the World Cup for the first time.
Messi has had a stellar career, winning 10 Spanish league titles, another in France, four Champions Leagues, the 2021 Copa America and a record seven Ballon d’Ors – awarded annually to the best player in the world.
But, unlike other all-time greats such as Brazil’s Pele or Argentina’s Diego Maradona, the 35-year-old was unable to win the sport’s biggest prize.
It’s 36 years since Argentina, runners-up in 2014 with Messi, were led by Maradona to their last World Cup victory.
Could Messi repeat the feat – and in doing so, perhaps secure his legacy as the greatest of them all?
More to encourage Morocco?
Morocco has already made history.
They are the first African team and the first Arab team from a Muslim-majority country to reach a World Cup semi-final.
Despite an experienced squad with a number of top players, such as Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and Paris St-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi, the Atlas Lions have defied odds to reach this stage.
They topped a group including Croatia and Belgium, before beating Spain in the round of 16 and Portugal in the quarter-finals, and will now be keen to go further.
Their success has been built around their steely defense and relentless work rate. No opposition player has scored against Morocco so far in Qatar – they have only conceded once, an own goal against Canada.
They were also one of the most passionately supported teams during the tournament.
The organizers said that this World Cup is not only about Qatar, but about the Middle East region and Muslims as a whole. Could they have more to cheer on Tuesday?
Can France come back back to back?
But on the way to Morocco are another of Europe’s top teams, France.
The Blues are trying to do what no one has managed since Brazil 60 years ago in 1962 – successfully defend the Men’s World Cup.
In fact, in recent years, the incumbents have struggled. Italy, Spain and Germany have all come out early as defending champions for the past 12 years, but France has banished that curse.
Saturday’s win over England meant they became the first defending champions since Brazil in 1998 to reach the semi-finals.
Manager Didier Deschamps, however, is focused on Morocco.
“You’re getting ahead,” he said, when asked about the prospects for a second straight final.
Could Croatia do it again?
We could still have a repeat of the 2018 final, if France beat Morocco and Croatia can see Argentina.
Croatia are back in the last four after another incredible display of resilience.
They beat Denmark and Russia on penalties en route to the final four years ago and this year have seen shootouts against Japan and Brazil.
It’s been 24 years since they won a World Cup knockout tie in 90 minutes – a 3-0 win over Germany in the 1998 quarter-finals.
Croatia’s efforts this year have been all the more remarkable as their midfielder Luka Modric is now 37 years old.
Despite the extra minutes, he looks as good as ever.
Argentina, who lost 3-0 to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup group stage, will not underestimate them.
How to follow the semi-finals
France v Morocco, which kicks off at 7:00 p.m. GMT on Wednesday, will be shown live on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK.
Argentina v Croatia, at 7:00 p.m. GMT on Tuesday, will be on ITV.
Commentary on both games will also be on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sounds app, while there will be live text commentary with clips, analysis and social media reactions on the website and l BBC Sport app.
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