France keeping feet on ground ahead of World Cup final

France keeping feet on ground ahead of World Cup final

The 32 teams that started the 2018 FIFA World Cup last month have been sifted down to the final two.

France and Croatia will meet in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday afternoon.

Croatia, beaten by the French in the semifinals in their first World Cup appearance in 1998, continued to press but their energy was sapped and France safely held out for the victory.

Mario Mandzukic stopped the Croatian hype train in its tracks when he scored the first ever own-goal in a World Cup final.

"They know what is at stake in the final, how great it is to play in the final".

The French are favourites to beat Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Sunday's final but manager Deschamps is well aware they were also fancied to beat Portugal in the Euro 2016 showpiece, which they lost.

"We saw in the last game that they finished the stronger of the two teams".

As for the match, we all feared the worst when Antoine Griezmann's in-swinging free-kick glanced off Mario Mandzukic's head and flew into the Croatia net to give France the lead.

As for Croatia, this will be their first ever World Cup final and will be looking to upset an assured Les Bleus side. And yes, that includes France's first and only in 1998.

Matuidi will play on the left of the midfield, tracking back while Griezmann stays forward, in a system that can fluently switch between 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, with Mbappé on the right wing. "It will be a match they will be ready for and I don't think extra time or penalties has been or will be a handicap for them".

Croatia reached the final thanks to a 2-1 extra-time semi-final win against England, and some fans took the time to mockingly thank the English for their generosity.

The recent World Cup tradition is for presidents of Federation Internationale de Football Association and the host nation to jointly hand over the gold-and-malachite trophy.

"It's a huge pleasure and privilege to play in such a match, there's nothing more attractive as a professional football player than to play in the World Cup final", he told reporters on Saturday. Substitute Ivan Perisic hit the winning goal in the 90th minute, to ensure than Croatia topped Group D by a colossal five points. They did not look like a side who were playing extra time for a third time in a row. Croatia's defence is considered their weak link but they continue to do the business and get results.

Despite a gluttony of star names like Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé this team just hasn't produced the kind of heart-stopping displays we might have wanted.

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