France 'in a bubble' to play ideal final

Croatia will wear their famous red and white checkered shirt with white shorts and white socks in Sunday's final against France.

"I don't think it's a factor", he said at news conference at the French training base on the outskirts of Moscow.

As the smallest country to reach a World Cup final for 68 years, Croatia can not call on the same resources as the French but have shown incredible mental strength to battle back from falling behind in each of their three knockout games.

Paul Pogba has finally become a leader in midfield for France and N'Golo Kante has excelled in doing the tireless work that allows his teammates to shine, while Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane are the nucleus of a solid defence.

France, the 1998 World Cup champions, finished top of Group C by beating Australia and Peru before a goalless draw with Denmark to clinch the number one spot.

They will also have to dig deep to overcome the certain fatigue that has comes with having been forced into extra time in their last three matches, winning two on post-match penalties.

France has shown throughout the tournament it is comfortable, perhaps even prefers, counter-attacking.

Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of Paris following Tuesday's semi-final win over Belgium and confidence is high that Didier Deschamps' team can match the achievement of the 1998 winners.

"We'll approach it differently and hope that we play really well and win it".

"Simply this is the greatest moment in the life of all of us". We will face a high-quality opponent and they deserve as much credit as we do.

French fans, on the other hand, say they are not so surprised but like their rival fans, they believe their team will win.

While France saw off Argentina, Uruguay, and Belgium, Croatia had to beat Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties before beating England in extra-time. That's double the previous World Cup record of six.

"When you are player, you are an actor but as a coach you are working through the players". But I have no star either although there is one on my shirt. The Vatreni too have some famous names apart from Modric like Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Mario Mandzukic, and Ivan Perisic. "Simply, the players know what that is", Dalic said. "I do not really know if we realise how far we have come but it is better that way", Lloris said.

Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina was a standout performance in the group stage.

"We want to work for it, to give everything we have to take this Cup home".

  • Salvatore Jensen