France's 1998 World Cup victor Thierry Henry, pictured with Romelu Lukakau, is now assisting Belgium's strikers before their semifinal against France. That was the last competitive match between the two countries but there have been eight global friendlies since.
Goals have proved elusive for a player whose place in the France line-up has always been a source of national debate in his homeland but two more wins are all that count for 31-year-old.
If France win the World Cup on Sunday then they will be able to brag that they have had the most hard road to the trophy after eliminating elite footballing nations in Argentina and Uruguay. The argument for its case will only strengthen considerably if Belgium beat France this week and go on to become world champions.
"He's quick and strong, a complete defender", Vermaelen said. He's helped me from when I arrived in England, we have a very special and close relationship. "We can hurt them up front". But, Roberto Martinez's men have shown a lot of determination and character in the knockout rounds. Fans welcomed his arrival in August 2016 with lukewarm enthusiasm because he'd only recently been fired by Everton in the Premier League.
Belgium reinforced for the quarter-final win against Brazil and France will have Blaise Matudi back from suspension for Tuesday's game at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
An own goal from Manchester City's Fernandinho gave the Red Devils the lead in the 13th minute before Kevin De Bruyne fired a thunderous shot to the left corner of Alisson's goal post to hand Belgium two goals up in the first half.
"He's given the team the desire to attack", French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet said of Henry's influence on the Belgian team.
"It's going to be weird to see Thierry again. He's held in high esteem".
"He will suffer emotionally; nobody prays to be in this kind of situation; he wont want to be seen supporting Belgium against his home country and he can not be with Belgium and be openly supporting France". He has also been facing Thibaut Courtois, "a great goalkeeper with an impressive wingspan" in training, too.
In France's World Cup opener against Australia, he let a long shot go past him and watched in relief as it hit the crossbar. At the end, you do all you can to win and if they're better, they're better.
Both sides have overcome impressive opponents in Russian Federation so far, but who has the edge to take them all the way to the final? "The best is Hugo". Hazard runs at pace and cuts inside.
Olivier Giroud would have no qualms about finishing Russian Federation 2018 without a goal to his name if France finish by lifting the World Cup.
Against Brazil, his defensive abilities came to the fore, and he will need to keep Antoine Griezmann quiet in similar fashion on Tuesday if France are to be eliminated.
Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were also outstanding against the Brazilians and Belgium have won their last two matches without this pair finding the net. "It's my unselfish side".
Teams such as Nigeria, Argentina and Germany were touted to storm the tournament to the semifinals by one cat from Britain. They are tied on fourth overall with 31.
Hazard has two goals from four starts, hit the post against Japan, was sensational against Brazil and takes spot-kicks.