Two goals were enough for both semifinalist to get them here. Through five matches, it looked as if they could finally deliver on their promise.
Along with the French and Gabonese presidents and the king and queen of Belgium, there was rock "n" roll royalty watching the game.
Belgium's forward Eden Hazard celebrates his team's win during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarterfinal football match between Brazil and Belgium, at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on July 6. Its best chance came in the 39th minute when Kylian Mbappe flicked a short through ball to Benjamin Pavard from the right side, but Courtois managed a kick-save on Pavard's shallow angle shot, sending it wide.
"We had more chances today, we had more control of the match", Kompany said. "But it was Europe which won, and it would be amusing if we were to beat the English", said 45-year-old Francois Garnier who watched the game near the Eiffel Tower.
Instead of a trip to Moscow, Belgium will return to St. Petersburg for the third-place match.
"I do not want to denigrate the Belgium team of the time, there were very good players, but at that time, it was France".
"Generations. Who talks about generations?" Mertens nearly had an immediate impact as his cross was headed skywards by Varane and De Bruyne missed his kick when coming in to hit a volley.
"That happened what we could expect - one goal would win it, and one goal would create some reaction and that happened", two-time Champions League victor Mourinho said. Both teams have had opportunities.
Robert Kidd, Forbes: "I backed Brazil to get the better of Belgium in the quarter-final and won't make the mistake of underestimating the Red Devils again". A pair of Diego Maradona second-half goals sank Belgium that day.
The win will not only confirm France's place in the Final, but it also show that the team is ready to become the world powerhouse everyone expects them to be sooner than later.
After winning back-to-back penalty shootouts to reach their second-ever (1998) World Cup semifinal, Croatia's tank will be closer to empty than any of the four sides still competing in Russian Federation, but Modric believes they can dig deep once more and qualify for the final. "I think his heart will be split tomorrow because before anything he remains French". It allows the country to be more ambitious and believe in its own talent.
"What we didn't have was global experience, the know-how of winning a World Cup, the know-how of being a footballer expected to perform in front of the world, and knowing how you feel in those moments".