France, Croatia battle for World Cup glory

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Progress has not always been smooth, with France nearly losing to Ukraine in a play-off in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, before eventually going out to Germany in the quarter-finals.

He has scored three goals in Russian Federation, two from penalties and one largely thanks to a goalkeeping howler from Uruguay's Fernando Muslera, but he has also contributed two assists. To ensure their seat, local football enthusiasts, right from Saturday, were found making early bookings at these outlets, many of which sported "booked out" signs for game day, by afternoon itself.

He was quick to point out his young side can match up against Croatian experience.

Kylian Mbappe's breakout performances, 11 own goals and very few red cards despite all Neymar's dives.

Winning the world cup is the dream of every footballer since the inception of his career. We want to go looking for it like all players. "He's going to do us a lot of good for a long, long time". Organisers are hopeful of thousands of football fanatics to gather at various venues in the city to watch the game on big screens.

There is nothing more handsome and stronger when you are a professional player than playing a World Cup final. "There are bound to be others who are better than me, and some who are worse as well", said Deschamps, who is depicted in cartoons in the French press with an enormous blue cat, an animal associated with luck.

Kylian Mbappe wasted time in France's win over Belgium - Thomas Meunier
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"They also have an incredible collective strength".

Only Argentina breached France's defense in open play.

YES, HE KANTE: Kante, France's smallest player at 1.68 meters (5-foot-6), runs, runs and runs.

Former president Jacques Chirac enjoyed a surge in popularity following France's 1998 victory - and Macron too will hope to benefit from the afterglow amid a poll ratings slump. At the World Cup, France have been a side that has shown breathtaking counter-attacking ability, built on a savage defence.

Was established as Bayern Munich's first-choice left-back as well as holding down the role for his country, a consistent performer who without question slots into this team ahead of current incumbent Lucas Hernandez.

Belgium´s players criticised the tactics France used in their 1-0 semi-final win as Didier Deschamps´ team sat deep and Samuel Umtiti´s headed goal came from a corner, but Griezmann dismissed the criticism.