No one less than Rio Ferdinand spoke of Belgium as the new World Cup favourite after the Red Devils dispatched Brazil. Before the start of the competition there were doubts about the character of the Belgians following their disappointment at the European Cup two years ago. Ferdinand spoke of a golden generation that had given the critics short shrift. The way that the Belgians had dismantled and pestered Brazil proved how they could grit their teeth.
The former manager of the German national team Jürgen Klinsmann was impressed by a splendid performance. They stood and fought and possess a great team spirit. Belgium manager Roberto Martinez is credited with a fantastic labour.
Belgium take on France next. France's L'Equipe is ready for the semi-final and a neighbourhood party: "Belgium has just put down the greatest performance in history, but now needs to consider its towering neighbour as its next opponent. For L'Equipe Courtois, De Bruyne and Hazard are the Red Devils that make the difference.
Defeat is hard to stomach in Brazil, a country that won the cup five times in the past. O Globo says nobody is unbeatable: "This defeat is a painful lesson." The paper questions Brazil’s ability to score and Gabriel Jesus's place in the squad.
Neighbours Argentina have little sympathy for their Latin cousins: the 6th World Cup win will have to wait for a while writes Clarin, while the Dutch believe it's now or never for the Belgians. AD speaks of France as a heavyweight opponent, but adds anybody who can trip up Brazil need not fear anyone.