France: World Champions
It’s finally over. With heavy hearts we say goodbye to the FIFA 2018 World Cup which was nothing short of a spectacle of an event. The goals, the tears, the excitement, the heartbreaks, the upsets. We experienced everything. It was definitely one for the history books.
It began with a bang with Russia putting five past Saudi Arabia on the 14th June and it ended with France being crowned world champions after taking down Croatia in the finals a month later. It was certainly an unusual final. The first goal unfortunately was an own goal by Mario Mandzukic and was the first ever own goal in a world cup final. Croatia however had a reputation of being the comeback kings in the world cup and did not disappoint getting an equalizer after a well taken goal from Ivan Perisic exactly ten minutes later. More drama followed as the first VAR penalty of a world cup final was given and converted by Antoine Griezmann. The second half of the game was not to be outdone by the first half. Paul Pogba getting France’s third goal, scoring the first goal from outside the box in a world cup final since 1982, with his weaker foot. Kylian Mbappe, one of the world cup’s youngest players ever, got the fourth goal for France with another goal from outside the box. Mario Mandzukic had the last say of the game getting what was eventually only a consolation goal for Croatia after taking advantage of an error. The finals of the FIFA 2018 World Cup ended France 4 – Croatia 2.
Croatia’s playmaker, Luka Modric, picked up the Golden Ball award. France’s Kylian Mbappe won the young player of the tournament. England’s Harry Kane and Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois picked up the golden boot and golden glove respectively.
This world cup has been outstanding. All 64 matches had the world feeling any and every emotion possible but alas France are the world champions.
We look forward to the next world cup in Qatar come November 2022.