But Belgians will now wonder if they have seen the best chance for this talented generation of players to win a major global title.
However, they say they will have no objection if the Centre Court crowd want to take sneak peeks of the action from Moscow on their phones.
But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.
France and Belgium have met over 70 times, but the stakes were never as high as they are on Tuesday.
Samuel Umtiti was the hero for France as his second-half header sealed a 1-0 victory over Belgium and a place in the World Cup final.
Kylian Mbappe was lethal in France’s 4-3 second-round win over Argentina, using his pace to devastating effect, but Martinez said his side would not make the mistake of focusing exclusively on one player.
Samuel Umtiti celebrated France’s 1-0 lead.
Didier Deschamps’ side started the match on the backfoot with Belgium hitting them with wave after wave of attacks. No player in either side has taken more shots on target for either side than this duo (both on five), while Eden Hazard is the only player to take more touches in the opponents’ penalty areas. “We weren’t in control two years ago against Argentina”.
Hugo Lloris produced another accomplished performance between the sticks for France, and the goalkeeper’s display has cemented his spot as the favourite to win the Golden Glove at this World Cup, but while the Tottenham Hotspur stopper shined, Belgium’s Romelu Lukau’s quest to catch Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot ended.
But the potent Belgian attack gradually faded as France’s rock-solid defense handed Belgium its first shutout of the tournament. The team will take the victor of England or Croatia in the final, with those two playing on Wednesday.
Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne said Henry had talked little about his feelings.
“Generations. Who talks about generations?”
“We know them and they know us”, said Deschamps.
There is no question we are about to witness a very open game.
“The frustration is there because we didn’t lose to a team who are better than us, we lost to a team who play nothing, just defend”. The French will be hopeful of winning their second World Cup.
Belgium’s team players take part in a training session of Belgium’s national football team at the Guchkovo Stadium in Dedovsk, outside Moscow, on July 8, 2018, ahead of their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup semi-final football match against France.
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“Generations come and go, ” Kompany said. “I would have preferred to have Henry on our side, to give me and the other French forwards advice, but I am not too jealous”. It allows the country to be more ambitious and believe in its own talent. “We need to be the best version of ourselves”.