90,000 fans packed under the Eiffel Tower elatedly rejoiced as teen sensation Kylian Mbappe put the nail in the coffin and secured France’s second World Cup in twenty years.
Interestingly, the final perfectly reflected what was unexpectedly one of the greatest World Cup’s in history.
France stuck true to form and opened the match the way they did the tournament, courtesy of an own goal and VAR intervention.
It was only fitting VAR would rear it’s either beautiful or ugly head in a match as significant as this.
The six goals perfectly epitomised the multitude of goals scored and Kylian Mbappe continued to make the spotlight his own.
Croatia’s ardour which gained them global support surfaced as Ivan Perisic netted a well worked set-piece goal which would have made Gareth Southgate proud.
Daniel Subasic reflected this fervour between the sticks on one leg after eight hours of football in a fortnight and Hugo Lloris gave a shout out to the various goalkeeping blunders when he failed to get past Mario Mandzukic in the six-yard box.
The only outlier was Paul Pogba who reminded everyone of his worth when he scored France’s third and took the responsibility of trolling English fans on social media afterwards.
There was an extra element of caution for France who had fallen at this hurdle two years ago on home soil and like the Euros had the ultimate underdogs standing in their way.
But this didn’t faze the favourites. Not on this night.
This was a French side with Mbappe on one wing, Griezmann on the other and one N’Golo Kante dictating play in the middle and while the French failed to set the world alight each player consistently fulfilled a role.
One of these players, Benjamin Pavard was the unsung hero in France’s triumph. A centre back playing at right back was always going to leave the door open for pacey wingers but Pavard made the position his own, so much so a fit Benjamin Mendy would have struggled to break into the squad.
The Croatians can hold their heads equally as high due to the significant funding the Croatian FA will receive allowing for an improvement in infrastructure at a grassroots level and opening the door for future golden generations.
Russia 2018 had a profound impact on the football landscape, one which has fans screaming ‘Bring on Qatar 2022.’