Steak frites vs moules-frites, waffles vs crêpes, Inspector Clouseau vs Hercules Poirot… Kronenbourg vs Stella Artois? France and Belgium have a historic rivalry, and football is no exception.
In fact, these two teams played their first international games against each other: a 3-3 draw in Brussels on May 1st, 1904, and they have gone on to face each other 73 times in total.
Tuesday’s semi-final in St. Petersburg will be their first match in a major competition since 1986, when France beat Belgium 4-2 in extra time to win the third-place play-off in Mexico.
Les Bleus are regulars in the latter stages of the World Cup, and will be making their sixth semi-final appearance, whereas the Red Devils, riding the talents of a golden generation, will be playing in only their second-ever game in the final four.
It may then come as a surprise to find out that Belgium actually have the better all-time record over France, with 30 wins compared to France’s 24, and 19 draws.
These two teams have played five times since the turn of the century, all friendlies, and we take a look at how each of those games panned out.