With a month of intense fixtures, July 15th was the day when the World Cup 2018 Final took place.
The game was at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow between former World Champions France and the strongest side by far in the tournament – Croatia.
Both nations’ leaders as well as Vladimir Putin were present in the crowd as the teams clashed on Sunday afternoon.
France have been criticised in the opening weeks of the competition for their uninspiring wins despite having one of the strongest squads in not only Europe, but the rest of the World.
After the disappointment of the Euro 2016 Final, Didier Deschamps’ team needed the win against an impressive Croatia side.
Though many know the calibre of their individual players, Croatia has been the best side in the tournament.
In their last three fixtures, the Blazers made comebacks after conceding early in matches to take their team into extra time and bag goals.
The game kicked off with France on the front foot as their forward line had the speed to out pace the Croatian defence.
The visitors were getting solid chances too but the young French backline had it on lock down.
In under 20 minutes, Les Bleus finally got their break through as an unfortunate own-goal by Mario Mandzukic gave them the lead.
From a set-piece free kick, Antoine Griezmann drove the ball into the box only to connect with the Juventus striker’s head and in his own net.
Croatia bounced back quickly within 10 minutes as Ivan Perisic scored another amazing curler from his left foot at the edge of the penalty area.
The Inter winger’s charm however, didn’t last long as Croatia conceded a penalty another 10 minutes after the equaliser.
After a VAR appeal from a cross, a harsh penalty was awarded to France as Perisic’s hand came in contact with the ball inside his team’s box.
Up came Griezmann to take the penalty in the 38th minute, who calmly slotted the ball away from Danijel Subasic to give Les Bleus the lead again.
The first half ended 2-1 as away fans were frustrated by the decisions made in the opening 45 minutes.
Just before the hour mark, France got their third goal of the game from a solid build up.
Manchester United Midfielder Paul Pogba led the attack, scooping a through ball out to the wings and waiting for the ball to come back to him just outside the Penalty box.
After an initial shot from his right was blocked, Pogba smashed the ball into the net with his left foot as the crowd went wild.
After much speculation about his abilities before the World Cup, it was a fitting way to prove himself.
Less than six minutes later, it seemed that French Starlet Kylian Mbappe buried the game after running from 25-yards out only to drive the ball low past Subasic.
All the goals must have went to Hugo Lloris head, as despite being one of the best goal keepers in the tournament, a sloppy mistake in goal gave Croatia one back.
After receive a back pass, Lloris failed to get the ball past Madzukic, who deflected the ball in only a few yards out.
Despite Croatia’s constant efforts, the game had already been decided.
France have become World Champions once again, 20 years after their first World Cup trophy.
Out in the pouring rain, the countries’ leaders congratulated Les Bleus as they lifted the cup while being showered by Golden Confetti.
Source of Image: @fifaworldcup_pt (Twitter)
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