Fifa World Cup 2018 has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable Football World Cups in recent past. France and Croatia will play the summit clash at Luzhniki Stadium in Russia on Sunday. France went to the finals banking on the pace of Kylian Mbappe, Antoione Grizemann's skills and N'Golo Kante's defensive prowess. On the other hand, Croatia played some wonderful football throughout the tournament. Captain Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic were instrumental in the Croats reaching the final after going 1-0 down in the semifinal against England in the seventh min. Earlier, the pre-tournament favourites Germany, Argentina, Spain, Portugal crashed out of the competition in Round of 16 or pre-quarterfinals, while Brazil lost their quarterfinal game against Belgium.
Fifa World Cups History
Eight national teams have won the 20 World Cup tournaments. In the 20 tournaments held, 77 nations have appeared at least once. Of these, 12 have made it to the final match, and eight have won. With five titles, Brazil is the most successful World Cup team and the only nation to have participated in every World Cup finals tournament. Italy and Germany have four titles. The other former champions are Uruguay and Argentina with two titles each, and England, France, and Spain with one each. The current champions, Germany, took their fourth title in 2014, and it is the first title for the reunified German team. The 2014 German team also became the first European team to win in South America. The team that wins the finals receives the FIFA World Cup Trophy, and their name is engraved in the bottom side of the trophy.
In a World Cup final match, if after 90 minutes of regular play the score is a draw, an additional 30-minute period of play, called extra time, is allowed. If such a game is still tied after extra time, the match results will be decided from the penalty shoot-out. A one-off match has decided the tournament on every occasion except 1950, when a final round-robin group contested by four teams (Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden, and Spain) decided the tournament winner. Uruguay's 2–1 victory over Brazil was the decisive match (and one of the last two matches of the tournament) which put them ahead on points and ensured that they finished top of the group as world champions.
When and where to watch the Fifa world Cup 2018 final
Match Date: July 15, Sunday
Fifa World Cup 2018 final: France vs Croatia
Match Time: 8:30 pm (IST), 5:00 pm (France Time), 5:00 pm (Croatia Time)
Match Venue: Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow
Team Croatia in Fifa World Cup 2018
Croatia started off their World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over a young Nigerian side with a goal from Luka Modric and an own goal by Etebo. In the second match, Croatia defeated Argentina, in a match that saw the might of the Croatian midfield, Argentina were handed a 3-0 humiliation by the Croats as Ante Rebic latched on poor mis-kick from Willy Caballero to score Croatia's first goal while Luka Modric scored a wonder goal to double their lead and Ivan Rakitic added Croatia's third. The third match saw Croatia defeat Iceland 2-1 and finish as group D toppers. Croatia defeated Denmark in the pre-quarter finals and Russia in the quarterfinals, both on penalties. In the semi-finals Croatia defeated England 2-1 after extra-time as they reached the their first-ever World Cup final.
Croatian players to watch out in Fifa World Cup 2018 Final:
Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic: Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic have displayed some stellar performance in the midfield while the likes of Ivan Perisic, Mario Mandzukic and Ante Rebic have given tough times to the opposition defence.
Danijel Subasic: Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three spot-kicks after the match finished 1-1 following extra time against Denmark in Round of 16 or pre-quarterfinals and again won the match for Croatia in the quartersfinal saving one spot kick.
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic
Defenders: Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Duje Caleta-Car
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic
France boost of exuberant young talents eager to show their skills on the world stage. The starting 11 as well as the bench have some prodigious talents like N'golo Kante who single-handedly stopped Lionel Messi. France beat Australia 2-1 in their opening World Cup 2018 match on after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was used for the first time in the competition's history. In the second match, France defeated Peru 1-0 in their Group C match as Kylian Mbappe scored the only goal. France secured first place ahead of Denmark in Group C following a 0-0 draw in Moscow that could set up a heavyweight World Cup clash with Lionel Messi's Argentina in the last 16. France pipped Argentina 4-3 to enter the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In the quarterfinal, France outclassed Uruguay 2-0 to enter the semifinal of Russia 2018. In the semifinal, France mastered Belgium counter attack play tactical by playing a defensive game as they defeated the Red Devils 1-0 to reach the Fifa World Cup 2018 final.
French player to watch out in Fifa World Cup 2018 Final:
Kylian Mbappe: The 19-year-old has announced himself to the world in this edition of the Fifa World Cup. With his speed, Mbappe zips across the pitch in a matter of seconds. This incredible speed coupled with exquisite ball control and enviable maturity has left the defenders baffled, with very few of them able to match him, let alone overpower him. The PSG winger had been showing the world his quality in the last two years through his club performances, but it's his exploits in Russia that has made him a household name. A World Cup name will be icing on the cake for Mbappe who has owned the tournament.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola.
Defenders: Layvin Kurzawa, Benjamin Mendy, Samuel Umtiti, Raphaël Varane, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibé
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Corentin Tolisso, N'Golo Kante, Steven Nzonzi.
Forwards: Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Florian Thauvin, Thomas Lemar, Nabil Fekir.