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FC Barcelona News: 7 July 2018; France, Belgium Reach World Cup Semi-Final

Brazil v Belgium: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Umtiti, Dembélé and Vermaelen into the semis | FC Barcelona
Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé’s France and Thomas Vermaelen’s Belgium are through to the World Cup semi-finals, but Friday marked the end of the road for their victims, Luis Suárez’s Uruguay and Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho’s Brazil.

France 2-0 Uruguay: Muslera’s howler gifts Les Bleus a comfortable victory | NewsX
A rampant France cruised past a stoic Uruguay 2-0 in a quarter-final match played on Friday. With the comfortable victory, France secured a semi-final berth in the FIFA World Cup 2018 and will face either Brazil or Belgium in the next knockout match. Antoine Griezmann was the hero for France as he registered a goal and an assist to sink the South American side.

Coutinho: “It hurts a lot because our dream was to win the World Cup” | Sport
“It’s tough to take because this ends our dream of winning the cup. The way we lost today is difficult, really hard. However we did the best we could and gave everything we had,” added Coutinho.

World Cup 2018: Kevin de Bruyne fires Belgium past Brazil and into semi-finals | Eurosport
Martinez opted for an experimental system, with Romelu Lukaku used as something of a winger, with Eden Hazard on the left and De Bruyne higher up the pitch. It worked as Belgium built a 2-0 lead in the first half, first through the own goal from a corner kick and then the second from De Bruyne after a rapid counter attack.

Paulinho considering China return amid offers | Goal
Barcelona midfielder Paulinho has confirmed he has an offer to return to the Chinese Super League. Paulinho joined Barca last August from Guangzhou Evergrande and despite impressing at Camp Nou the 29-year-old has been recently linked with a return to his former club.

Barcelona set to sign Arthur from Gremio | ESPN
Barcelona are poised to make their first signing of the summer after Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo confirmed he will join the club this month. Barca and Gremio had originally agreed for a deal to be done in January, upon the conclusion of the Brazilian season, but a number of factors led the La Liga champions to fast-track the transfer.

All the fees involved in Arthur’s move to Barcelona | Sport
The agreement made back in March was for €30m: €4m to secure the first option on the player. To this you need to add €13m which would be paid in August of this year, plus the €13m left which would be paid in January 2019, which is when the player was originally supposed to join. In order to bring forward the deal, Gremio explained that Barça needed to pay another €2.8m as way of compensation, on top of the original €26m which will be paid in January.

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