After a game with many twists and turns, the French team defeated Croatia in Moscow to become the new world champion. After 1998, France has just won for the second time in its history. Croatia had an incredible run in the competition and with a population just above 4 million, it is the smallest country to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950. Both teams achieved an incredible sporting achievement!
France 4 – 2 Croatia
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow / Attendance: 78,011
(Mario Mandžukić 18′ (OG), Antoine Griezmann 38′, Paul Pogba 59′, Kylian Mbappé 65′)
(Ivan Perišić 28′, Mario Mandžukić 69′)
France showed efficiency and realism in a bizarre game to overcome Croatia
Already at the beginning of the game, Croatia was controlling the ball and the game. But at the 18′, a free-kick ended up in their goal with an auto-goal by Mandžukić. It was the first time that France was attacking in the Croatian side of the field.
Croatia did not doubt for long. 10 minutes after the French goal, Ivan Perišić (28′) scored a beautiful goal with his left foot leaving Hugo Lloris no chance.
While the game was still at 1-1, the referee Nestor Pitana used the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) to review a possible handball by Ivan Perišić. After reviewing the replay on screen, he decided to spot the point for a penalty. Antoine Griezmann (38′) converted without hesitation and France was miraculously ahead 2-1. The French realism strikes again.
At the halftime, France was heading to the locker room one goal ahead despite being dominated in the game by Croatia. At the return of the halftime, France was playing with more accuracy in their passes. After one hour of play, Paul Pogba (59′) and Kylian Mbappé (65′) settled the game for France with two beautiful goals outside the box.
Despite a late effort from Mandzukic (69′), who took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Croatia didn’t have the strength to score more goals and France was going to be the new World Champion. France never seemed to control the situation or Croatia, but emerges victorious from a disconcerting match.
Overall the final offer suspense and can become a classic in the world cup tournament. To see more than 5 goals in a World Cup Final we had to go back in 1966 (England 4-2 West Germany). France will have now 2 stars on their jerseys like Argentina and Uruguay. After Italy 2006, Spain 2010 and Germany 2014 this is the fourth consecutive World Cup won by a European nation.
Even after the game, Didier Deschamps was realistic about his team performance: “We didn’t play a huge game, but we showed a lot of mental qualities. We scored four goals anyway, so that’s it, and I’m really happy for that group, because we started from a distance, though, and it wasn’t always easy. All that matters to him now: rejoicing for his team: “It’s so beautiful, it’s so wonderful for the players. It’s a young generation, some are world champions at 19.”
Didier Deschamps took part of 4 finals on 7 (2 as a player and 2 as a coach) of the Football France team history. Deschamps is known for his football science and even if the beautiful style is not always here, his winning mentality remains amazing.
Russia organized one of the best football World Cup in history
From June 14 to July 15, the 2018 FIFA World cup took place in Russia. The competition gathered 32 countries from all over the world and for the first time Iceland and Panama participated in this competition. FIFA President Gianni Infantino told reporters: “It is an incredible, amazing World Cup. From the very beginning of the tournament, we have experienced incredible emotions from being here and in two days the top of all this will be the finals. These couple of years I said that the 2018 World Cup will be the best for all time. Now I can say it again, being convinced that this is the best world championship in history“.
With a cost of over €12 billion, this world cup edition is the most expensive World cup ever. The number one cost was the infrastructure (renovation, new stadium…). You really felt the World Cup spirit around the country with an excellent organization. Hospitality and safety were the keywords for Russia especially with the “Fan-ID” implemented this year. The Fan-ID allows the fan to enter the country visa-free but also it allows free access to public transport services (train, bus…) between host cities.
A world cup full of surprises
- Germany was knocked out in the first round for the first time since 1938
- England won in a penalty shootout for the first time in the history of the world cup
- Portugal and Argentine knocked out of the competition in the round of 16
- Spain eliminated in the round of 16 against an exciting Russian team
- Russia reach quarter-final despite no wins in friendly games in 2018
Final positions and results – 2018 FIFA World Cup
Final – Sunday, July 15, 2018
France 4 – 2 Croatia
3rd place game – Sunday, July 14, 2018
Belgium 2 – 0 England
Semi-finals – Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Croatia (I. Perišić 68′, M. Mandžukić 109′) 2 – 1 (K. Trippier 5′) England (a.e.t.)
Semi-finals – Tuesday, July 10, 2018
France (S. Umtiti 51′) 1 – 0 Belgium
World cup Awards
Golden Ball / Best player
Luka Modrić (CRO)
Throughout the competition, Luka Modrić illuminated the competition with his passes, goals and incredible leadership. Croatia lost in final, but the Vatreni showed an amazing heart and the captain knows that they accomplished something big: “We can be proud. We know we did something big here”
Best young player
Kylian Mbappé (FRA)
Golden Glove / Best goalkeeper
Thibaut Courtois (BEL)
Golden Boot / Best Goalscorers
Harry Kane (ENG) – 6 goals
FIFA Fair Play Award