Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

Paul Pogba inspires France to World Cup final victory over Croatia

Paul Pogba inspires France to World Cup final victory over Croatia

The boom of fireworks and firecrackers filled the air and auto drivers honked their horns incessantly to celebrate France's second world title after their triumph on home soil in 1998.

As the game ended they couldn't hide sadness but many said they were happy at what Croatia has achieved.

Their entry into the World Cup final in Russian Federation brought the country of 4 million people to a standstill as officials and the media described the event as the biggest in Croatia's sports history.

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"It's a huge pleasure and privilege to play in such a match, there's nothing more handsome as a professional football player than to play in the World Cup final", he told reporters on Saturday.

France's attackers have been curiously quiet since the Round of 16, but Kylian Mbappe or Antoine Griezmann will re-assume the goal-scoring burden in the final.

"Croatia has players with great club experience and their squad has been together for a long time but every team we've faced here has been more experienced". That win puts them in a position to win their second World Cup title ever, the first coming in 1998.

The French are favourites to win the World Cup when they take on the Croatians at Luzhniki stadium but Deschamps is well aware they were also fancied to beat Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, which they lost.

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The Eastern European side has seen their knockout matches go to extra-time three times so far - the equivalent of playing an extra game at the tournament. The phenom scores twice and draws a penalty that Griezmann converts for a third, with a wonderful strike by Benjamin Pavard tucked in between.

Croatia and star Luka Modric are in uncharted waters as their small nation has never reached the World Cup Final game before.

"For most of these fans, the win is sweeter than they had imagined".

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, right, vies for the ball with France's Antoine Griezmann, left, during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Matuidi did not play the full 90 minutes against Belgium in the semi-final due to his collision with Eden Hazard but he did not suffer a concussion so he could play.

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