FRANCE ARE 2018 FOOTBALL WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS

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France has won the FIFA football World Cup 2018, hosted by Russia, for the second time in their history.

“Le Bleus” as the French senior national football team is called, defeated hard fighting national team of Croatia in the final game of the World cup, 4 -2, with goals from Antoine Griezeman, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and an own goal by Mario Mandzukic for France, who also scored another goal to add to the strike of Ivan Peresic for Croatia.

The thrilling final game of football World cup 2018, was played in the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow and saw French Manager, Didier Deschamps’ side repeat the success it had achieved on home soil at France ’98; a victory which meant that Deschamps, who captained “Le Bleus 20 years ago, became just the third man to win the competition as a player and coach, following in the footsteps of the great footballers, Mario Zagalo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbaur (Da Kaiser) of Germany.

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The young player of the tournament award went to the exiciting French new-kid-on -block, Kylian Mbappe, the golden gloves for the best goalkeeper went to Belgium’s Thiabaut Courtois, the golden boot for highest goal scorer was given to Harry Kane of England while the golden ball for the best and most valuable player (MVP) of the tourney went to Croatia midfield wizard and creator, Luka Modric.  The world cup trophy and medals were presented to the winner and finalists, by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Russian President Vladimir Putin, supported by France President the young Emmanuel Macron and the beautiful Croatia President Kolinda Graber-Kitarovic, who gave each player a warm hand shake and a lovely hug and motherly embrace, as the Presidents stood drenched but beaming with satisfied smiles, in the pelting torrential rain that suddenly started pouring down from the grey skies, just immediately after the final whistle had been blown by Referee Nestor Pitana of Argentina, to signal the end of the final game and bring down the curtain on a successful hosting of the world cup Russia 2018.

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SOME WORLD CUP TRIVIA

This was the First World Cup that saw the introduction of VAR (*Video Assisted Referee)

Deschamps is the third person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.

France became the first team to score four goals in a World Cup final since Brazil beat Italy 4-1 in 1970.

Croatia are the first team to lose in their first appearance in a World Cup final since the Netherlands in 1974 (2-1 v Germany).

Mandzukic is the first player to score an own goal in a World Cup final.

Mbappe (19 years 207 days) is the second youngest player to score in a World Cup final, after Pele for Brazil in 1958 (17 years 249 days).

Griezmann has scored 10 goals for France in major tournaments – only three players have scored more for Les Bleus (Michel Platini – 14, Just Fontaine – 13, Thierry Henry – 12).

Perisic has been directly involved in 11 goals at major tournaments (7 goals, 4 assists), more than any other Croatia player.

Perisic became only the second player to both score a goal, and concede a penalty in a World Cup final, after Marco Materazzi for Italy in 2006.

Pogba became the first Manchester United player to score in a World Cup final, and the first Premier League player to do so since Emmanuel Petit in 1998.

Pogba’s goal for France was the first scored from outside the box in a World Cup final since Marco Tardelli for Italy v Germany in 1982.

Mandzukic is only the second player in World Cup history to score a goal and an own goal in the same match, after the Netherlands’ Ernie Brandts against Italy in 1978.

Mandzukic became the fifth player to score in both World Cup and European Cup/Champions League finals after Ferenc Puskas, Zoltan Czibor, Gerd Muller and Zinedine Zidane.

 

 

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