Patrick Battiston was knocked unconscious and lost his two front teeth after Harald ''Toni" Schumacher charged into him. Photo: Getty Images
Brasillia: France against Germany is always an evocative fixture, with the more recent baggage being provided by on-the-field football events rather than any wider historical context.
The 1982 World Cup semi-final between the pair will long be remembered as one of the most thrilling games the competition has ever seen, with the Germans coming back from 3-1 down in extra time to level the game and then go on to win on penalties.
And it will also not be forgotten for another reason: it featured one of the worst fouls anyone in football can remember, when German goalkeeper Harald ''Toni" Schumacher assaulted French full-back Patrick Battiston as the latter chased a ball down into the Germany penalty area.
Paul Pogba: doesn't fear Germany. Photo: AFP
Battiston got there first and toe poked the ball wide. Schumacher kept coming and jumped straight into the Frenchman, knocking him out. He also lost his two front teeth, had damaged vertebra and required oxygen to be given out on the ground.
Schumacher became a figure of hatred in France and all over the football world - and there were plenty in Germany who were ashamed of what their goalkeeper had done, too - while Battiston recovered to help France win the 1984 European Championship and to also play against the Germans in the 1986 World Cup semi-final, which they lost 2-0.
So this quarter-final between the two is the perfect opportunity for Les Bleus to gain revenge. It is the first time the two countries have met in the World Cup since that 1986 showdown in Mexico: in the intervening years Germany has won one World Cup in 1990 and been a beaten finalist in 2002, while France has won one (in 1998) and beaten a beaten finalist also, in 2006.
Germany struggled to overcome Algeria in the last 16 clash. Photo: AFP
The Germans are higher in the FIFA rankings than the French, but Didier Deschamps team have been the more impressive in reaching this stage.
Germany came through one of the toughest groups (Ghana, Portugal and the USA) with relative ease, but really struggled to get home over Algeria, only sealing the match in extra time.
The North Africans had the better of the first half and but for the excellence of Germany's sweeper/keeper Manuel Neuer might have pulled off a massive upset.
Joachim Low's side did get on top, and two goals in extra time were enough of a buffer, even when the Algerians pulled one back in the dying moments.
But it was a less-than-impressive performance from a team that most had expected to make short work of the Algerians.
France too had to work for their quarter-final place in an entertaining match in Brasilia against Nigeria, who gave as good as they got for much of the contest. But France gradually got on top in the last 25 minutes and once man of the match Paul Pogba had headed home 11 minutes from time there was only going to be one winner, Nigerian captain Joseph Yobo's last-minute own goal merely rubbing salt into the wound.
There is a lot to like about the way France is building into the tournament. They have conceded only two goals - and those right at the end of their game against Switzerland when, 5-0 up, their concentration had slipped - and scored 10.
They have experience in key areas of the team, a threatening striker in Karim Benzema and a strong midfield, anchored by Yohan Cabaye. In Hugo Lloris they have one of the most confident and competent goalkeepers in the tournament.
''We have had some objectives and we were increasing them. When you look at the recent past of the team I am very proud to be in the last eight - its not insignificant to be there," said Deschamps after the win over Nigeria.
However, he warned "the level will increase the more we go into the competition. We have a new stage to pass".
Unlike four years ago, when the French mutinied and went on strike, this is a France squad that seems together and united. Deschamps, himself a World Cup-winning captain, knows how vital that commodity is.
''I sleep very well, I spend long restful nights, its a pleasure to be here for me, my staff and the players. We live well together, what happens in work and the interactions together, its all positive.''
He was happy to talk up the potential of the youngster Pogba, who has come in for some criticism for his performances.s
''Pogba is young. Its normal that he has been criticised. Sometimes its painful and unfair, but I think it will toughen him up a bit, he stood up to the plate today and showed his potential.''
Pogba himself has no qualms about facing the Germans.
''No, I am not afraid. Why?,'' he asked a questioner after picking up the man of the match award for his efforts against Nigeria.
''We are the French national team and we are not afraid of anyone, any team you play you are going to give everything and try to win.... there is a lot of solidarity with the players, this is the strength of our group. ''