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10 July 2018, 02:03 | Pamela Mathis
Brazil's forward Neymar on the ground during FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16 against Mexico at the Samara Arena
Belgium's enthralling 2-1 win over tournament favourites Brazil meant that the remaining six teams left standing in the tournament were all European.
The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked team in the tournament at No. 70, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England.
Neymar says Brazil's World Cup elimination in Russian Federation is the saddest moment of his career and it will be hard to get back to playing soccer again.
As disheartening as the loss is for Brazil, Neymar and Co. are in good company, in a manner of speaking.
Fred suffered an ankle injury at the start of June during a training session with Brazil and was subsequently named as a substitute for all five of his side's matches at the World Cup.
Spain-Portugal has already been matched or surpassed by at least two games: France-Argentina and Belgium-Japan in the round of 16.
After a brace in Atletico Madrid's Europa League final win over Marseille, firing France to their second World Cup would cap a glittering year for the newly contracted 27-year-old.
In 360 minutes of football in Russia, Neymar spent 14 minutes on the floor, according to Swiss broadcaster RTS.
"We've strived to be as good as we could be at global level and it's taken us two years to get there". What was Neymar up to at this World Cup? Only after the final will we know if the champion and its star or stars match up to the greats of the past.
English coach George Raynor took Sweden to the 1958 final, but lost to Brazil.
"He is a different player, a star for the next 15 years and I think he can even improve". This isn't just the Scotsman in me talking here, but these two teams are better than England and Croatia - although anything can happen in a final.
"It's great to be facing a team like France because they are very similar in terms of the individual talent they have".
Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Benjamin Mendy will all keep the sly blue flag flying in the World Cup semi-finals.
The pain of loss to Belgium very great, says Neymar
France have always been a footballing stronghold but as we have seen in this World Cup , reputation precedes determination. We have beaten Brazil in the World Cup , we have created a nice memory, let's treasure it and pass it down.
Dana White: Brock Lesnar will fight Daniel Cormier
Cageside at UFC 226 in Paradise, NV was a lesser-spotted suited-and-booted Brock, ostensibly in town to enjoy the action. Cormier, 39, defeated Stipe Miocic by knockout 4:33 into the first round on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Hales shines as England level series
Unfortunately for England , the Indian batsmen also enjoyed the bright sunshine and short boundaries in Bristol . Rahul was finally sent back to the pavilion courtesy a sensational running catch by Chris Jordan .