After a long month of soccer mayhem, France was finally crowned the victors of the 2018 World Cup. Today in Moscow, the country beat out Croatia 4-2 in a very thrilling game. This is the second World Cup title for France. The first time the country won was 20 years ago, when the World Cup was held in France in 1998. This was Croatia’s first time reaching the final. The Croatians put up quite a fight in the tournament, including three consecutive extra-time games and two penalty shootouts, but it was not enough to beat France.
The match got off to a rough start for Croatia and it went unfortunately downhill from there. The first goal that France scored was actually thanks to a Croatian 18 minutes into the game. The ball bounced off Croatian player Mario Mandzukic’s head and ended up going into their own goal. It was the first time an own-goal had ever been scored in a World Cup final.
It was a very exciting final match for the 2018 World Cup, maybe more so than previous ones. France scored three straight goals in a 27-minute stretch before and after halftime. The six goals in total were as many as the previous four finals combined. The goals were the most in a final since England beat Germany, 4-2, in extra time in 1966, and the most in regulation since Brazil’s 5-2 triumph over Sweden in 1958.
Croatians were disappointed, but did not regret their game playing. According to the New York Times, Croatian midfielder Luka Modric was interviewed after the game, and spoke for his side.
“We have no regrets because we were the better team for much of the game,” explained Modric. “Unfortunately, some clumsy goals swung it their way. They will be celebrating, but we can hold our heads high.”
Modric received the Golden Ball as the tournament’s most outstanding player.
Celebrations of France’s win have been going on since the game ended just a few hours ago.
The next FIFA World Cup is scheduled for 2022. It will be held in Qatar and will be the first ever World Cup to be held in an Arab and Muslim-majority country. It will also be the first ever World Cup to be held in the fall because of the weather in Qatar. It is scheduled to start in late November and go until mid-December, with the championship match marked for December 18, 2022, which is Qatar National Day.