World Cup 2018: Everything you need to know about the upcoming final between France and Croatia

World Cup 2018: Everything you need to know about the upcoming final between France and Croatia

This year’s World Cup has been full of shocking results. Now that the dust has settled, we are left with a finals match between two excellent teams

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Who will hoist the 2018 World Cup trophy this year?
Photo: AFP

France

As shocking as this World Cup has been, it’s not all that surprising to see this French squad in the final. This team is full of supremely talented players – Hugo Lloris has arguably been the best goalkeeper in the entire tournament. They have an array of talented attackers from Antoine Griezmann and Oliver Giroud, to teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe – who looks primed to be one of the best players in the world for years to come.

How they reached the final

The French survived a scary round-of-16 match against Lionel Messi and Argentina in which they blew a 1-0 lead and found themselves trailing 2-1 early in the second half. They came back from behind and held on in an exciting second half to win 4-3. After beating Uruguay 2-0, they escaped with a hard-fought 1-0 win against an equally talented Belgium squad.

French player Kylian Mbappe (left) and Paul Pogba (centre) do some light training before the Final.
Photo: EPA

France’s path to the final has been anything but easy, but they have stayed consistent and at times looked absolutely brilliant. They are playing with confidence, have strength at every position, and for this reason they look to be the heavy favourites to win the cup.

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Croatia

While respected as a good team before the tournament began, few people thought Croatia could make it this far. However, we should not underestimate this team, especially their supreme midfield duo of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. They’ve shown they have no problem playing as the underdogs, and will be heading into the final match with a lot of confidence.

How they reached the final

Croatian football fans are hyped up for their team's final against France this Saturday.
Photo: AP

Teams and fans really started to take notice after a 3-0 thrashing of Argentina during the group stages. However, their path to the final has been against weaker competition than France, and they have not won as decisively. Their matches against Denmark and host-team Russia both went to penalty kicks in thrilling matches. However, their hallmark win came against the highly-hyped England team.

England were another surprise team of the tournament, and the “football is coming home” meme blew up everywhere on the internet. However, Croatia cruelly brought the English hype-train to a crushing halt, beating them 2-1 in extra time after trailing 1-0. Modric said the team used English fans’ disrespect of Croatia as motivation. Expect them to be even more motivated on Sunday.

Final thoughts

Though the World Cup hype may have died down a bit following England’s elimination, the final will be an incredible match between two fantastic teams. Tune on Sunday at 11pm on ViuTV or find a public area showing the match. There will be plenty of them.

Edited by Jamie Lam

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