Moscow France won the World Cup for the second time in a furious final. In the final against Croatia on Sunday in the sold-out Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the French won 4-2 (2-1) and won the title again after 1998. Coach Didier Deschamps’ team succeeds the German team that triumphed in Brazil four years ago as champions.
In front of 78,001 spectators, France took the 18th-minute lead with a Mario Mandzukic own goal, the first in World Cup finals history. After the quick equalization by Ivan Perisic in the 28th minute, Antoine Griezmann decided with a hand penalty (38th), Paul Pogba (59th) and Kylian Mbappé (65th) the game in favor of the favorite. Croatia’s second goal by Mandzukic (69th) brought no turnaround.
In Paris, after the final whistle, crowds flocked to the Champs-Élysées and transformed the splendid boulevard into a huge party mile full of French flags. Previously, 90,000 people had watched the game on a public viewing area at the Eiffel Tower.
In the Croatian capital Zagreb, however, many tears flowed from the enthusiastic fans. The biggest tabloid “24sata” ran the headline: “Only silver, but with a golden sheen. You are the champions for us ”. Both teams are to be honored with large receptions on Monday in the capitals of their countries.
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Croatia’s captain Luka Modric was awarded the Golden Ball as the best World Cup player. The Belgian Thibaut Courtois, succeeding Manuel Neuer, received the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper. The 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé was chosen as the best young professional, in 2014 France’s Paul Pogba secured this honor.
Spain received the Fairplay Award. England captain Harry Kane won the golden shoe for the best goalscorer with six tournament goals.
The final was briefly disrupted by four speedsters. The Russian political punk group Pussy Riot shortly afterwards announced on social media that the women on the field were its members. To this end, she drew up a list of demands: political prisoners should be released, arrests at rallies should stop, the country needed more political competition. Moscow police confirmed the arrests of three women and one man.
Cheers after a 4-2 win – France is world champion
Even before the final, Russian President Vladimir Putin symbolically handed over the business to the host of the next tournament in 2022, the Emir of Qatar. The head of the Kremlin symbolically presented Sheikh Tamim with a soccer ball in Moscow on Saturday, as it should also be used in the final between France and Croatia. He is convinced that Qatar will host the World Cup just as well as Russia, Putin said, according to the Interfax agency, and offered an exchange of experiences.
US President Donald Trump congratulated Putin, whom he plans to meet for a summit in Helsinki on Monday, on “a really great World Cup – one of the best of all time,” as he wrote on Twitter.
Putin also wants to surprisingly relax the visa requirement for football fans with fan IDs. “I think we do it like this: For foreign fans who have a fan ID, we will make multiple visa-free entries to Russia until the end of the year,” said the Russian president on Sunday, according to the Tass agency. He added that he hoped that many would take advantage of this opportunity.
Usually you always need a visa to travel to Russia. Russia has introduced a special rule for the World Cup. The mandatory fan ID has been introduced for access to the stadiums. This replaced the visa. Hundreds of thousands of fans came for the World Cup between mid-June and mid-July. They celebrated exuberantly on the streets of the eleven World Cup venues. Observers spoke of a colorful carnival of the fans.