World Cup: France, The World Champions

After 20 years of disappointment and heartbreak, France has finally reached the top of the mountain and they’ve been crowned as the 2018 FIFA World Cup champions. They’ve avenged their loss in the 2006 World Cup final against Italy, as well as their loss in the Euro 16 against Portugal, which was on French soil. France is once again on top of the world.

It’s been a very long road for Les Bleus. After a very unconvincing qualifying campaign, France had been looked at the same way they’ve always been; a team with superior talent but no focus and just incapable of making an impact on the pitch.

French manager, Didier Deschamps, who was already facing extreme criticism for not being able to put some balance on the team and get them to be focused and disciplined was at the point to where if France had a bad run, his tenure as the manager would end in a very bad way.

Now it’s a different story as Deschamps is the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a manager. Deschamps deserves credit for finally putting his players in their right place and drawing up a unique and effective tactic. In other words, he finally put together a squad that can win it all.

France struggled in the Group stage. Two hard-fought but unconvincing wins along with a boring 0-0 draw with Denmark really hurt France’s chances of making a deep run in the knockout stage.

But France made a mental change. They told themselves that the time for fun and games are over and it’s time to play some serious soccer. By making this much-needed change, they were able to fight through the knockout stage, pulling off hard-fought wins against Argentina, Uruguay, and Belgium to reach the final. Focus and discipline are France’s biggest keys to their World Cup triumphant.

France defeated Croatia to lift their second World title. But it wasn’t easy as Croatia also had a magnificent run. Croatia’s mentality and team chemistry were at a much higher level than France. Croatia truly dominated and really gave France a hard time. France’s defense truly looked exhausted about 30 minutes into the game. N’Golo Kante, who dominated the midfield for France in their last three games struggled. He struggled so badly that he was pulled out of the game in the 55th minute.

France did have a bit of luck on their side but France managed to keep it together as Croatia just refused to go away. Croatia did a good job of not allowing France to catch their breath. But France finally had enough to get the job done and by winning the title, they’ve silenced their critics and proved their doubters wrong. Kylian Mbappe, who became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final and he was named the tournament’s best young player.

Croatia fought hard and they deserve credit for making it to the final as Croatia was never predicted to make it out of the Group stage as they were paired with Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland. Much like 1998, Croatia truly had a unique Cinderella run. This team will be a team that will never be forgotten. No doubt, this team will go down as National Heroes. Luka Modric was named the tournament’s best player.

Both teams can return home and enjoy a well-deserved, brief vacation. Preparations for the 2020 Euro will begin soon. But for now, both these teams ought to rest a little bit.

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