Thursday night saw two of the world's best teams fight it out for a place in the final of Euro 2016. The hosts vs. the world champions. It was always going to be a special occasion for the footballing world.
One battle that fans had been particularly looking forward to was France's Paul Pogba against Germany's Mesut Ozil. Two of the world's premiere midfielders on the same pitch in different shirts.
Arsenal fans know just how good Ozil can be. They saw him provide 19 assists in the Premier League last season and create a record-breaking amount of chances in the process. Equally, fans the world over know about Pogba, the man named in FifPro's World XI for 2015.
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While it would eventually be Pogba's France that won the battle, the respect that the two share for each other has never been greater. Indeed, the Juventus star has dedicated an Instagram post to the German No.8 and included a touching message alongside with it.
He wrote: "Big example, top top player, always a pleasure to play against you, I learn a lot @m10_official."
Response to Ozil
The two Adidas athletes may well have been in cahoots before these posts went out as earlier on Friday Ozil posted the same photo on his own Instagram account. The only difference being that he praised the whole France team, rather than just Pogba.
He wrote: "The disappointment of the bitter defeat is still the same as yesterday. It just was not meant to be and luck was not really on our side. Nevertheless, congratulations to France being a great host. The team and especially the people well deserved it after all the discussions and safety precautions throughout the country since November 2015. Adieu & merci France."
When Pogba says he learned a lot from Ozil, there is a good chance he actually means it. The man who has been linked with a £100m move to Manchester United and Real Madrid recently said he is trying to take the best qualities of the world's top players to make a new breed of midfielder.
"Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, [Lionel] Messi, everyone. [Andres] Iniesta," he told ESPN. "I'm serious. All players rolled into one.
"From defensive midfielder to attacking midfielder to attacker. I want to take the qualities from everyone. I'd like to get to the level where I have everything: [Patrick] Vieira, [Didier] Deschamps, Zidane, Ronaldinho, [Thierry] Henry, Ronaldo. It wouldn't be bad, that."
I think we can safely say Ozil has been added to that list.
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