Paulinho returned to the starting line-up for Brazil and played 85 minutes as the hosts secured a place in the semi-finals against Germany with a 2-1 win against Colombia.
But there was agony for goalkeeper and French skipper Hugo, whose side were beaten by the only goal of the game by German defender Mats Hummels in the famous Maracana Stadium.
Paulinho joined Fernandhino in the holding midfield role for Brazil as an early goal from Thiago Silva (7 minutes) and spectacular free-kick from David Luiz (68) saw them home in Forteleza. James Rodriguez scored his sixth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot for Colombia with 10 minutes remaining but it wasn't enough.
Hugo could do little about Hummels' close-range header in the 12th minute and that proved the difference between the teams in Rio. Hugo made one outstanding save in the second half to deny Andre Schurrle as France pushed forward for an equaliser, but to no avail.
Brazil now meet Germany in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, kick-off 9pm UK.
Our attention now turns to our trio of Belgian internationals - Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen - as the Red Devils face Argentina in the quarter-finals in Brasilia on Saturday, kick-off 5pm UK.
Below: Paulinho celebrates with goalscorer Thiago Silva