France host Spain tonight in what is the highlight of the World Cup qualifiers in Europe, with La Roja trailing Les Bleus.
After the chastening Euro 2012 quarter-final loss effectively cost Laurent Blanc his job, as France's overly defensive tactics failed to stymie Vicente del Bosque's patient players, Didier Deschamps has transformed France's fortunes. Their 1-1 October draw at the Vicente Calderón a swift tonic after the Donetsk defeat and they lead Spain by two points.
Until the last eight triumph at the Euros the Spaniards had never beaten the French in four fixtures at major international finals. In 1984, a Michel Platini-inspired France won their first major honour on home soil at Euro 84, defeating Spain 2-0 at the Parc des Princes-held final in Paris.
Twelve years later, José Caminero cancelled out Youri Djorkaeff's opener to deny Les Bleus victory in the Euro 96 group stages, although both sides would be eliminated at the knockout stage on penalties. Spain became the first - and only - team to lose to England from 12 yards while the Czech Republic edged out the French in the last four.
Four years on and France were at their zenith. World champions and soon to be European champions, a brilliant free-kick from Zinedine Zidane was levelled by the silky Gaizka Mendieta only for Djorkaeff to strike again. Raúl hit a bloated penalty off target in the dying embers to guarantee France's passage to the semi-final as they would go on to win their second Euros.
At the 2006 World Cup an ageing France were underdogs against their whippersnapper opponents yet they still beat Spain. David Villa gave Luis Aragonés's team the lead but goals from Franck Ribéry, Patrick Vieira and Zidane earned Raymond Domenech's side a 3-1 win in the last 16.
Vieira's winner from a free-kick was notable for the manner in which it was won. Thierry Henry feigned agony after a challenge from Carles Puyol, still bitter at his treatment at that year's Champions League final when Arsenal lost to Barcelona.
And most recently, Olivier Giroud's 94th minute header denied Spain victory in their World Cup qualifier with France in Madrid.
France celebrate Giroud's equaliser
Sergio Ramos opened the scoring with a tap in two seconds after he nodded against the post in a dominant first half for La Roja. Hugo Lloris was in excellent form but Spain were unable to hold on for a victory which may have huge repercussions for their automatic qualifying hopes.