I hope Man Utd are chasing Messi and Ronaldo heir, Kylian Mbappe

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"A big football nation managed to outsmart Croatia with pragmatic albeit dominant football, France remains a puzzle to solve for Croatia".

"The group is different to the group we had two years ago, because 14 players were not there two years ago", Deschamps added.

Not today though, and after 90 minutes and six goals France were crowned world champions, defeating Croatia by four goals to two.

"It was insane, but this year it's going to be even more", said Maurice, who'd wrapped his shirt over his head to protect it from the sun barrelling down on the crowd, as the score for France was 3-1. "Sometimes I can be hard very hard with them but I do it for them and even though they are young they usually do listen". At the half-point, the game was close: France lead with 2 as Croatia trailed behind with 1.

Croatia's bid for World Cup final glory is against their conquerors in 1998

France's 4-2 win marked France's second World Cup title in 20 years.

The French were handed a gauntlet run of juggernaut knockout opponents but Les Bleus dug deep and ground out victories over Argentina, Uruguay, and Belgium to set-up a final showdown against Croatia on Sunday, July 15.

France took the lead in the 18th when Croatia's tallest outfield player, 1.90-meter (6-foot-3) forward Mario Mandzukic, rose to meet Griezmann's free kick with the top of his head. He expects a French victory, due to their experience. But when France look back at this World Cup, they may say that without Kylian Mbappe they would not have won the tournament, and that is surely the highest praise any player can receive.

"I'm happy we got second, it's still better than third", young optimist Noah Pernic told SBS News. And is France's World Cup triumph down to Pogba's sensible haircut?

Dalic thought the 18th minute own goal and the France penalty, awarded seven minutes before halftime for a Perisic handball after the referee viewed the TV footage, had been the turning points.

  • Julie Sanders