"A World Cup won over the English would have more relish" confessed the French football-specialised magazine So Foot few hours before the second semifinal.
The dreamed clash between the old rivals which love loathing each other won't take place however, after the Three Lions were defeated by Croatia.
In tomorrow's print edition, L'Equipe runs as a headline "The revenants". The popular French sports newspaper believed England got over the hump against bushed Croatians. With this third extra-time played in 12 days, "the Kings of the extra-time" have played the equivalent of one more match than France (90 minutes) points out L'Equipe points.
The tiredness accumulated isn't the only good news according to the newspaper. Former footballer Johan Micoud thinks Croatia is more equipped than England to face France, a team which excels on the counter-attack.
For a journalist from So Foot, the qualification of Luka Modric's team also means the end of what he calls an "auditive bludgeoning".
So Foot noticed that "opponents presumed easier than on the other side of the table, a broken curse and a manager equal to the expectations hasn't been enough in front of bravery".
The media ends on a promising note: "England has regained prestige, it's an absolute certainty. The title isn't for this time, but we can say the heirs dusted off a crown dating back to 1966".
According to a poll from the French radio RMC, football connoisseurs are more confident of a win win against Croatia (82 per cent) than if it would have been against England (73 per cent).
French people were quite wary of the Three Lions as one of the most asked question in Google yesterday was: "Are the English good at football?".
Just enough to play the third-place match.