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World Cup 2018

24 Stars With African Roots In World Cup Semi-Final

When France meet Belgium in the first semi-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as many as 24 players with African heritage will be involved.

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Les Bleus have as many as 15 players with African roots in their 23-man squad for the tournament in Russia, and Didier Deschamps' side had at least five players who would have been eligible to represent African nations by birth or via their parents in each of their starting line-ups at this year's World Cup.

Three players in the France squad, namely N'Golo Kante, Djibril Sidibe and Ousmane Dembele, would have been eligible to play for Mali, while Steve Mandanda, Steven Nzonzi and Prisnel Kimpembe would have qualified to wear the DR Congo shirt.

Kylian Mbappe and Samuel Umtiti have Cameroonian roots, while Paul Pogba's family comes from Guinea. Nabil Fekir (Algeria), Blaise Matuidi (Angola), Adil Rami (Morocco), Thomas Lemar (Nigeria), Benjamin Mendy (Senegal) and Corentin Tolisso (Togo) all have African roots as well.

On Belgium's side, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Youri Tielemans and Dedryck Boyata each have at least one Congolese parent, with Congo having been a colony of the European nation until 1960.

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Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli hail from Morocco, Mousa Dembele has a Malian father, and Axel Witsel was born to a French Caribbean father. Overall, nine of Belgium's 23 players at the tournament are of African heritage, but opted to represent the European nation.

Which players of African origin do you think will shine in the clash between France and Belgium? Have your say in the comments section below.

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