So after 64 games and nearly 4 weeks of glorious tournament football we have new world champions as France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to win their second World Cup. Didier Deschamps became only the third manger ever to win the World Cup as a player and a manager. The final provided a fitting ending to the World Cup that has been entertaining and exceeded expectations of a lot of people.
France had looked like likely winners very early on in this tournament. They had found a way to win games and looked like the classy team from the word go. They may not have played well in all games they played but when they needed to they always seemed to have an extra gear. Two years ago they suffered heart break in the final of Euro 2016 in their own backyard but only 5 of that starting 11 started in the final of the World Cup. Deschamps has completely changed this side and added a winning mentality that could see France dominate world football for years to come.
Croatia was probably the neutral’s choice in the final having entertained in the group stage and battled their way through the group stage having being behind in ever one of those games and being taken to extra time in each game. They probably deserved more from the game having dominated possession and chances early on but a poor ref decision led to a free kick that took a deflection off mandzukic and into his own net. Ivan Perisic equalised brilliantly seven minutes later. A controversial penalty decision allowed France to take a 2-1 lead. Two second half goals from Pogba and Mbappe gave France a commanding 4-1 lead. An absolute howler from Lloris allowed Croatia back into the game but France would hold on for the 4-2 win.
As the heavens opened in Russia as if to weep for the ending of an amazing World Cup, France collected their second World Cup trophy. It was a exciting World Cup Final, it was everything that this World Cup needed. The two best teams throughout the tournament with some of the best players providing a super entertaining game from one of the greatest World Cups ever.
This World Cup had everything, shocks, last minute winners, great goals, penalty shootouts, VAR, controversy, you name it, it had it.
I throughly enjoyed this World Cup, a lot is to do with the unexpected success of England. Always helps when your nation has a good World Cup but with some unexpected results and eliminations we got to see an exciting finish to the tournament and some teams that don’t usually get so far in the tournament. Does it mean it was a weak edition of the World Cup? No. You can only beat the team that is in front you. It meant we got to see something different.
Not sure if we will ever see a World Cup quite like this one again with so many changes coming in the next 2 World Cups and those changes may affect the enjoyment of the greatest tournament in sport.
For now though Congratulations to France and to all the teams that competed in the World Cup.
Also thank you to Russia. Despite people’s reservations about it, it was an amazing tournament and one that will live long in the memory.