France Win 2018 FIFA World Cup With Victory Over Croatia

Emmett Rice
July 16, 2018

Croatia's forward Ante Rebic (L) vies with France's midfielder Paul Pogba during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018.

The mercurial Kylian Mbappe, 19, followed suit six minutes later and became the first teenager to score in a final since Pele in 1958.

Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 France side, became the third man to lift the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer.

Four goals to boot, there seemed to be no way back for the Eastern Europeans until Mandzukic's pressure on Lloris forced him to reduce the deficit slightly.

France led, 2-1, at halftime after a Mario Mandzukic own goal and an Antoine Griezmann VAR penalty, with Ivan Perisic briefly bringing first-time finalists Croatia level. Under FIFA's strict colour-clashing policy, Croatia would not be able to wear their black and navy blue even if they wanted to. "I'm really happy for this group".

The French president joined the victorious Les Bleus in their Luzhniki Stadium locker room, gave a speech, had fun with star midfielder Paul Pogba while being filmed for Snapchat, and struck a dab pose for defender Benjamin Mendy.

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Djokovic hasn't made a Grand Slam semifinal since the 2016 US Open (when he lost in the finals). Early on he was bothered by the glare off the sun, adjusting his serve and then sporting a cap.

With a population of only 4.2 million, Croatia have every reason to feel hard done by after winning admirers - most neutrals in the stadium were heard chanting "Hrvatska" - with their fairy-tale run and defiant brand of attacking football.

"We need relaxation and rest to gain freshness for tomorrow", Dalic said. "Then we came back into life, we dominated then the penalty was given". And we scored four goals anyway. Croatia has the veterans that have shown they can never be counted out.

Neymar was roundly criticised for what many fans perceived to be play-acting during the tournament, with the most contentious incident taking place after he dramatically writhed around after Miguel Layun trod on his ankle during the Selecao's 2-0 win over Mexico.

France will also be spurred on by trying to put behind them the bitter disappointment of losing the Euro 2016 final to Portugal in Paris.

Despite coming close to reaching their first World Cup for 52 years, England coach Gareth Southgate said that "against the very best teams we've come up short". France were the better team, they used all their chances tonight, without making too many costly mistakes.

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