The 2018 World Cup finally comes to an end as France takes home the ultimate footballing trophy, having defeated Croatia 4-2 in what is easily one of the most memorable matches in recent history. Overall, it was the perfect conclusion to what has been one of the most shocking tournaments of World Cup history. What made the match even better was that it had a bit of everything, from an own to a penalty and, of course, several new records.
France and Croatia both gave it everything they had. Croatia’s Modric, easily one of the best players at this tournament, fought till the end but, unfortunately, he failed to lift the trophy. On the other hand, France had one of the best games right when it counted the most.
France got the lead due to Mandzukic’s blunder when Griezmann’s free kick bounced off his head into the goal. However, Croatia was not one to give up. Perisic’s beautiful finish saw them equalize before half time. Unfortunately, that status quo wasn’t about to last for very long.
France was awarded a penalty through an extremely controversial decision by the referee. The triggering incident was an alleged handball by Perisic. The referee consulted the VAR, a first for a World Cup final, for a rather long time and decided to give a penalty. Of course, Griezmann converted as expected, giving France a lead into half time. Despite this, Croatia was the best team in the first half.
In an equally exciting second half, it seemed that France had all but wrapped it up with two memorable goals in 6 minutes. Each of goals created history thanks to the players who made them possible. The first one came from Mbappe who becomes the second youngest player at 19 years to score a goal at a World Cup final. The youngest was Pele who was 17 in the 1958 final. The second was from Paul Pogba who became the first player from Manchester United and also the first player from the English Premier League to get a goal in a World Cup final since 1998.
With this win, Didier Deschamps now becomes only the 3rd person to claim the World Cup as a player and as a manager. Now a member of a truly elite club, Deschamps has played roles in both of the titles that France has.
If this much of excitement was not enough, there was even a pitch invasion which was later claimed by a Russian activist group called Pussy Riot.