France have clinched their second World Cup Football title. In a thrilling final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow last night, they defeated Croatia 4-2. France led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of the first own-goal and the first video-reviewed penalty in a World Cup final.
The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic’s head came in the 18th minute. Croatia rallied to equalize on a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic in the 28th minute. But France took the lead once again when Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty in the 38th minute. Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic wins everyone’s heart by a magic hug to players from France and Croatia and sharing light moments with France president Emmanuel Macron.She is also a multi-linguist, fluent in Croatian, English, Spanish and Portuguese, and also understands German, French and Italian. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a Croatian soccer shirt with the name “Putin” printed on the back, hours before the World Cup final.
Four pitch invaders disrupted the game in the 52nd minute for about a minute before being dragged away by security and police. Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead. Goals came through Paul Pogba in the 59th minute and Kylian Mbappe in the 65th minute. The 19-year-old Mbappe became only the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final. Mario Mandzukic pulled one back for the Croatians in the 69th.
Croatia were playing in their first World Cup final. They were the smallest country to reach the Final in the modern era. For France, it was a first World Cup crown since winning on home soil in 1998.
England’s Harry Kane won the World Cup Golden Boot Award as top scorer with six goals. Croatia captain Luka Modric won the Golden Ball award for the World Cup’s best player despite being on the losing side.
19-year old teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe of France won the Young Player of the Tournament Award after scoring his fourth goal of the competition in the final.
Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois won the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper.
France join Uruguay and Argentina in winning the World Cup for a second time, after their 1998 triumph over Brazil when Didier Deschamps — now the coach — was the captain.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated France on winning the FIFA World Cup.
In his official Twitter handle, the President posted:”Congratulations to the determined players from France for winning the FIFA World Cup! Special wishes to the gallant Croatia team.
The prime minister also took to Twitter to congratulate France, calling it “an excellent match!” In his tweet, he wrote that France played wonderfully through the tournament and during the World Cup Final. The Prime Minister also congratulated Croatia for their “spirited game”. He said Croatian performance in the World Cup has been historic.
Qatar will be hosting the next FIFA World Cup in the year 2022. Qatar would be the first Arab country to host the World Cup and it would be the first time the World Cup would be held in the Middle East region.