Modric wins World Cup Golden Ball, Mbappe young player award

France beat Croatia in FIFA World Cup final Didier Deschamps becomes third man to win as coach and player

Fifa Name Referee For France-Croatia World Cup Final

Although considered the underdog, Croatia was the team to knock out England in overtime, and managed to maintain strong possession against France, while tucking in two goals into the net.

In the end, Croatia did all the running but France did more of the scoring.

Much like the past month, the final had everything.

Ending a string of three consecutive finals decided after regulation, France scored three straight goals in a 27-minute stretch bridging halftime.

France were crowned 2018 FIFA World Cup champions, following an entertaining 4-2 victory over Croatia in Moscow.

Croatia lost a World Cup final, but at least they played like Croatia, the remarkable little strife-ridden football nation of four million people that went all the way to the greatest game of all.

Crashes of thunder and the occasional downpour only added to the occasion, already the biggest stage in sport. The group said it was a protest aimed at ending illegal arrests of protesters and to allow political competition in Russian Federation. "It is not nothing to win the semifinal of a World Cup after losing the Euro final", he said, still trying to exorcise the demons of losing the 2016 Euro final to a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal at home.

"We're the champions of the world!"

France beat Croatia in FIFA World Cup final Didier Deschamps becomes third man to win as coach and player
World Cup Finals 2018: How to Watch France vs Croatia

On this evidence and the youth of the swashbuckling French champions, this side just might dominate worldwide football for years to come. "I knew what the World Cup was, but I realized the magnitude of it years later".

Deschamps captained France as they won the 1998 World Cup final on home soil in Paris.

Though Ivan Perisic's super strike soon found an equaliser for Croatia, the high voltage final later witnessed a major twist in the 38th minute as the referee gave France a penalty which Griezmann converted into the goal.

And there is a new generation who made the breakthrough in Russia - Mbappe, Benjamin Pavard and Raphael Varane.

The French goals came from a Mario Mandzukic own goal (after a free kick dubiously won on an Antoine Griezmann dive), a Griezmann penalty (after a debated, VAR-assisted hand-ball penalty call on Ivan Perisic that I felt was correct), a glorious start-the-play-and-finish-it goal by Paul Pogba and a fourth by Kylian Mbappé.

Mbappe, who is 19, is only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final. Supporters hoped to settle an old score with the French dating back to the semifinals of the 1998 tournament, where Croatia's dreams were cut short.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Federation Internationale de Football Association supremo Gianni Infantino presented the victorious French with their winners' medals in torrential rain before the players celebrated by sliding across the drenched pitch.

France will step to the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to battle for the title against Croatia and the French tactician is upbeat that compatriot Didier Deschamps will lift the trophy for the second time, both as a player and a coach with the Les Bleus.

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Contact with him by the USA president during his visit would be seen by many as an insult to May. Maybe we'll speak to him when I get over there.

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