France makes football history. Congrats Les Bleues.


In the end French flair prevailed to see Les Blues chief Deschamps, once described as nothing more than a ‘water carrier’ by Eric Cantona, become only the third man in history to win a World Cup as both a player and manager.

But not before there had been own goals, stunning goals, a dodgy penalty awarded following VAR, more history from Kylian Mbappe and a horrendous goalkeeping mistake in a game that was bonkers from start to finish.

This was billed as genuine battle between David & Goliath in the Luzhniki Stadium, with Croatia in their first ever final and the lowest ranked side (20th) to ever reach the biggest game of all.

France, on the other hand, are one of the genuine powerhouses of football and no strangers to the big occasion.

This was Les Blues’ third final in six World Cups, having landed the big one two decades ago in their own backyard in Paris.

The favourites also had redemption on their minds after Deschamps’s men lost the final of Euro 2016 on home soil to Portugal.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic only took charge of his team nine months ago, but found himself just 90 minutes from landing the big one.

It will probably take him another nine months to work out how his side managed to lose, considering the underdogs dominated for long spells of a game that will live long in the memories of those privileged to watch it.

Both managers named unchanged sides following their semi-final wins, with France sensation Mbappe becoming the third youngest player to ever appear in a final.

But it was rival winger Ivan Perisic who stole the show at both ends in a thumping first half that saw the underdogs pin France back, but still go in trailing 2-1 at the break.

France broke the deadlock against the run of play on 19 minutes when Mario Mandzukic connected with Antoine Griezmann’s dubiously awarded free kick, only to send a glancing header into his own net.

The Juventus ace became the first player to score an own goal in a World Cup final.

But France’s lead lasted just 10 minutes as Croatia continued to batter their opponent’s goal.

France World Cup 2018 squad


France’s World Cup squad – the 23 names

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola.

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Lucas Hernandez.

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Corentin Tolisso, N’Golo Kante, Steven Nzonzi.

Forwards: Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Florian Thauvin, Thomas Lemar, Nabil Fekir


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