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To every beginning there is an end. The next 4 games to be played at Russia will crown a new world football champion. As usual it's been a fairytale of repeats and revenges. Belgium revenged their 2002 quarter final defeat to Brazil and it looks the most notable.

Croatia's dreamteam of 1998 will be happy to see what Modric and his mates are doing now. France's manager, Deschamp has the chance to lift the golden trophy again like he did as player 20 years ago as well as Belgium's assistant manager, Thierry Henry. England has the chance to lift a major International trophy and how many believed this squad to achieve such a feat? The semi final pairings will really be worth a watch. Belgium faces France with England playing Croatia next. 

No African nation has been past the quarter final stage but interestingly some players with African backgrounds have. How?  They played for different countries. Let's see some dates when players with Ghanaian backgrounds played at the semi finals of the global event. 

July 8th, 1998     
Saint-Denis, Stade de France 
France Vs Croatia 
An intriguing start to the second half saw Suker score first for Croatia before France replied instantly through Thuram. The full back got the winner for France some 20 minutes later. Marcel Dessailly started in central defence with Laurent Blanc. Dessailly was born in Ghana thus becoming the first Ghanaian to play at that stage. Born Odenke Abbey, his adopted father gave him the name Dessailly when he left Ghana for France at a young age. Well, France went on to win the trophy.

June 25th, 2002
Seoul, Seoul World Cup Stadium 
Germany Vs South Korea 
A Michael Ballack inspired win over the hosts ended the fairytale ride of the Koreans. On that day, Gerald Asamoah had a touch of the game ball. Asamoah saw out the last 2 minutes as a substitute. Asamoah, born in Ghana, moved to Germany in 1989 as a 10year old. The Ghanaian born winger had stellar performances for Schalke 04 and made Rudi Voller's team. Germany went on to place second and Gerald become the second Ghanaian to play at this level.   

July 4th, 2006
Dortmund, Westfalenstadion
Germany Vs Italy 
For the third time a Ghanaian played at the semi finals. The pacy David Odonkor came on for Bernd Schneider on the 83rd minute. The game was settled in extra time as Grosso and Del Pierro striked to give Italy a win over the hosts. Donkor has a Ghanaian as a father with his mum being German. The winger was always brought on late in games to exploit teams with his trickery and pace.  Gerald Asamoah sat on the bench and didn't get to touch the ball.    

(From the left) Gerald Asamoah with David Odonkor at the 2006 World Cup 

July 7th, 2010
Durban, Durban Stadium 
Germany Vs Spain 
Puyol got the match winner for La Roja as Germany failed to make it to the finals. Jerome Boateng played at left back for Joachim Low's team. Jerome has a Ghanaian father and played against Ghana and his brother Kevin Prince Boateng in the group stages. 

July 8th, 2014
Belo Horinzonte, Estadio Mineirao 
Brazil Vs Germany 
The famous 8 goal thriller had a Ghanaian present in Jerome Boateng. Brazil lost hugely as Kroos and Schurrle got a brace each for Germany. 7-1 it ended in favor of Germany. Jerome and his mates went on to win the trophy making him the second player with Ghanaian blood to do so. Interestingly,  the first was a defender too.                         
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