France won 2-0 the last time they played world champions Germany on November 13, 2015 but few that night cared about football.
The old rivals, meeting again on Thursday for a place in the final of Euro 2016, have fought many epic battles over the years, including two intense World Cup semifinals.
But the friendly international at the Stade de France in Paris last November will not be remembered for the goals scored by Olivier Giroud and Andre-Pierre Gignac. As the French and German players contesting the game in Marseille on Thursday know very well, events off the pitch dominated the night. Islamic State claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks that killed 130 people across Paris, including 90 at the Bataclan concert hall. Two explosions were clearly heard in the first half from inside the ground, located on the outskirts of Paris. The game continued and the players had to wait until after the final whistle to find out what had happened.
Waiting for the French team on the way to the changing rooms were junior minister of sport Thierry Braillard and French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet. The players were told that gunmen had launched several attacks across the capital and that three suicide bombers had blown themselves up outside the stadium.
Fans blocked inside
At the Stade de France, the fans, who had felt something was wrong when they saw a helicopter fly over at halftime, were told to stay inside for about 20 minutes after the game before they were allowed to leave. Security officials took the decision to avoid any panic and also because they wanted to make sure none of the attackers could get into the stadium. The German players were then forced to spend the night in the bowels of the stadium before racing to the airport at dawn.