The goalkeeper said the team were not being swept up by the wave of celebrations back home and were keeping their focus firmly on their shot of earning a second World Cup title after 1998 when they take on the Croatians in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Croatia have been forced into extra time in each of their three knockout matches, edging Denmark and hosts Russian Federation on post-match penalties before scoring late in added play to come from behind and beat England in Wednesday’s semi-final in Moscow.
The biggest concentration of diehard fans of the French side is likely in Montreal, where Statistics Canada estimates roughly 57,000 people who were born in France live.
Didier Deschamps could become only the third man in the history of the World Cup – after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer – to lift the trophy as a player and coach. They’re just going to throw caution to the wind, like they have the whole tournament, and you got that sense from both sides today. Could a first ever World Cup victory for Croatia turn the tables? The other is a player who just exudes class with every touch he takes.
But apart from that 4-3 win, France have played like a Deschamps side, with the emphasis on defence. Paul Pogba and Golden Ball victor N’Golo Kante v. Ivan Rakitic and Golden Ball runner-up Luka Modric is just magnificent.
Belgium’s Thomas Meunier scores their first goal.
‘Tomorrow will be the most important match of our career.
Both players though, will face their toughest tests yet.
Since their first game against Australia, Deschamps brought in striker Olivier Giroud to provide a focal point in attack as it allowed Atletico Madrid playmaker Antoine Griezmann to play in the central attacking space.
Croatia, playing in their first ever major worldwide final, were beaten in the 1998 semifinals by France.
This is a battle between two players at the opposite stages of their careers. But I have no star either although there is one on my shirt.
Croatia themselves have been the surprise package of this tournament. England right back Kieran Trippier left the semifinal with a groin injury, and Kane is believed to have played through through an injury for at least three games. This time, during the entire journey, Croatia has been playing really good. Either France have been the best side in the tournament and have reached the final without ever, bar the second-half performance against Argentina, having to get out of third gear, or they have sleepwalked there thanks to some pretty indifferent opposition and will be found out against a hungry Croatia side.