You should be proud despite defeat, Croatia coach tells players

Kristopher Nichols
July 16, 2018

Argentinian official Nestor Pitana jogged over to the TV monitor on the advice of video assistant referee Massimiliano Irrati and his team. Croatia were livid - but Griezmann kept his cool, despite the long wait, to send the keeper the wrong way for a first goal in a World Cup final given on the intervention of VAR.

Six years after this 13-year-old was pictured in his bedroom surrounded by a Cristiano Ronaldo shrine, he is realising his dream of becoming the most exciting prospect in world football.

"The French proved better in decisive moments although we practically let them score the first two goals too easily".

French forward Kylian Mbappe has been named the best young player in Russian Federation.

Africa did not have a representative in the knockout stages of this year's World Cup after Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt were all eliminated during the group stage. "In a World Cup final, you don't give that penalty".

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The extra-time hero of Croatia's semi-final win over England turned villain when he flicked Antoine Griezmann's free-kick into his own net in the 18th minute of the 2018 decider at the Luzhniki Stadium. Goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the oldest player ever start in a World Cup game when he lined up in Egypt's last match against Saudi Arabia aged 45.

"Africans and Muslims delivered you a second World Cup, now deliver them justice", one user wrote. France took a 4-1 lead midway through the second half of the final and it was pretty much over from there. France won five games and drew one.

It may not be the Champs Elysées, but Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal was swarming with red, white and blue Sunday afternoon as France poured in the goals and, finally, won the World Cup 4-2.

It highlighted what I believe is still the fatal flaw when it comes to VAR - the fact that the on-field referee makes the key decision.

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