Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

Lawrence Kim
July 15, 2018

France and Croatia both avoided any surprises as they named unchanged line-ups for the World Cup final on Sunday, setting up a heavyweight midfield clash between N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba on the French side and Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic for Croatia. Their country's loss in the European Championship final two years ago to Portugal on home soil is still so fresh for their fans.

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"We took the hard path, probably we will be the only team at a World Cup to have played eight games to get to a final if you tally up all the minutes", admitted Dalic.

"We saw in the last game that they finished the stronger of the two teams".

"I can not lie that when we beat Germany we thought that was the final".

Perhaps it is because they have dominated possession in every game bar the one against Argentina, where they kept 42% possession but still won 3-0, completely shutting out the supply line to Lionel Messi. "That will not happen again".

Croatia then went on to play in three consecutive extra time games, coming out victorious with penalty kicks against Denmark and Russian Federation before toppling England in 120 minutes in the semi-finals.

Both teams have played one game at the Luzhniki Stadium so far.

If Croatia was not coming off three emotionally and physically exhausting matches they would have a fighting chance. Croatia will at some point feel the added minutes played, won't they?

"It's a huge pleasure and privilege to play in such a match, there's nothing more handsome as a professional football player than to play in the World Cup final", he told reporters on Saturday.

"For us, we are not the favourites. We have to play as if this were the first game in this tournament". "We are up against players of a high quality and with lots of experience", Matuidi said. We are chasing something and will do everything to succeed.

"For sure the Croats they want the star (for winning the title) they have had a good run".

Mbappe tore apart Argentina in France's 4-3 win in the last 16 in Russian Federation, before they proved too strong for Uruguay in the quarter-finals and Belgium in the last four. Is that about to change today, or will Les Bleus be adding a second gold star to those attractive blue shirts? Paul Pogba and Golden Ball victor N'Golo Kante v. Ivan Rakitic and Golden Ball runner-up Luka Modric is just magnificent.

Goals from Ante Rebic, a thunderbolt from Modric and a late Ivan Rakitic goal gave Croatia a first victory over a South American opponent in World Cup history, and inflicted the heaviest World Cup first-round defeat since 1958 on a beleaguered Argentina.

"Even their defenders are outstanding players".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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