This World Cup has represented progress for a team who lost in the quarter-finals of the 2014 tournament in Brazil and at Euro 2016.
Everything was slayed to perfection by Roberto Martinez's men in the previous match, finally meeting expectations set by Federation Internationale de Football Association and the judging eyes of the world.
But with their King Philippe watching from the stands, there was to be no coronation.
Samuel Umtiti headed France into the World Cup final in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday with a 1-0 win, consigning Belgium's "golden generation" to another bitter disappointment.
"Because of the seven years I spent in France I feel 99 percent Belgian and one percent French, but the idea of taking French nationality never crossed my mind" Hazard once said when asked about the possibility.
Tuesday's entrance exam to the championship final features two sides with contrasting World Cup traditions. "There were not many big moments that were going to decide the game and it came down to one dead-ball situation", said Martinez of the 51st-minute goal that separated the sides. Normally, the No. 3 member of anyone's coaching staff is known only to people who probably need either a second job or a first one, and could walk many a street unrecognized. That first Cup-winning team from 20 years ago?
After finding opportunities, but failing to score in the first half, France finally broke through with the decisive goal from Samuel Umtiti in the 51st minute.
Halftime:France 0, Belgium 0.
France now plays either Croatia or England in the the World Cup final on Sunday in Moscow.
Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne, meanwhile, was a little more diplomatic, perhaps mindful of the fact he will share a dressing room with several French internationals next season.
"I don't know", he said. That's why we believe bettors should wager on the draw, and the teams should practice their penalty kicks. "What we have is a really good team that performed really well". On the other side is France, a world soccer titan vying for its third finals appearance in the last six World Cups.
However, Umtiti popped up with the game's telling moment early in the second half, nodding the ball home to score his third worldwide goal.
They have an outstanding goalkeeper, strong defenders, and in the midfield, they have N'Golo Kanté, who is the best player in the world in his position.
"He played man-to-man against Kolarov and devoured him, defensively and offensively, " Wilmots told the Associated Press in an interview before the World Cup.
"Generations come and go, " Kompany said.
"I think England is fresher, has younger players, had a easy group phase, where they play two easy match and the match against Belgium they change every player". Hooking your TV up to a digital antenna allows you to watch unlimited over-the-air networks like Fox, ABC, and Telemundo, totally free of charge, in most of the country. The only time it happened in Belgian football was in 1986, when we finished fourth.