It all adds up to a semifinal match against France on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) in St. Petersburg.
They go out with their heads held high, though, after leaving everything on the pitch as they chased an equaliser in the last 14 minutes of the match in the wake of substitute Renato Augusto's fine headed goal.
Four years ago, nearly to the day, Brazil beat Colombia in a World Cup quarter-final that would end with Neymar suffering a serious back injury. Crouching on the field, he pulled his shirt over his face while Belgium exalted in victory.
Belgium are through to the semi-finals and they've done it by knocking out Brazil.
"We feel bad because Belgium played well".
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Brazil had been undefeated in their last 15 games under Tite, a streak in which a resurgent Selecao had conceded only three goals.
Neymar, who was criticized ahead of the game for having spent almost 14 minutes on the floor cumulatively in Brazil's first four games, flung himself down but was told to get back up.
Meanwhile, De Bruyne insists Belgium are intent on extending their once-in-a-lifetime journey. "This is something special".
As Brazil become the last south American country to exit the tournament before the semi-finals, Roberto Martinez's Belgium ended a 32-year wait to reach the final four.
"Brazil adapted better in the second half". But as the referee started to seek a video review, Neymar appeared to urge him against it.
This was supposed to be Neymar's breakthrough season, the one that made him a superstar equal to Messi and Ronaldo.
Belgium will be without defender Thomas Meunier for the semifinals after tripping Neymar and earning a second yellow card of the tournament. We had a plan and we did our tasks as good as possible.
The ambitious government eventually wants to launch a bid for the Winter Olympics but on Sunday, the people of Kazan looked happy enough to still have a team in the World Cup, for a few hours until the quarter-final against Croatia at least.