France are world champions for a second time as Les Bleus ran wild while Croatia’s energy reserves ran dry to win a thrilling World Cup final 4-2 in Moscow on Sunday.
Didier Deschamps’s men also had luck on their side as they led 2-1 at half-time thanks to Mario Mandzukic’s own goal – the first ever in a World Cup final – and a controversial Antoine Griezmann penalty awarded by video assistant referee.
However, Croatia finally paid for their exertions in going to three periods of extra-time in defeating Denmark, Russia and England after the break as Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe put France out of sight before a rare error from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris gifted Mandzukic a consolation goal.
Here are some of the key stats and figures from the pulsating final and the awards that were presented afterwards.
- Mario Mandzukic netted the first own-goal in a World Cup Final and the 12th in this tournament. Mandzukic is also the second player to score a goal and an own-goal in the same World Cup match, after the Netherlands’ Ernie Brandts in 1978. And of course, the first to do so in the Final.
- Every World Cup Final since 1982 has featured at least one Inter Milan player, including Croatians Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic in this year’s deciding match. Bayern Munich equalled Inter’s record when their player Corentin Tolisso came off the bench for France.
- Antoine Griezmann converted the fifth penalty out of six awarded in World Cup Finals. It was France’s 13th penalty goal in 14 attempts in the global showpiece and their second in a Final, after Zinedine Zidane scored from the spot in the 2006 decider.
- When Paul Pogba scored France’s third goal, he became the first man since Mario Tardelli in 1982 to score from outside the box in the World Cup final. And a few minutes later, Kylian Mbappe repeated the feat.
- Pogba also became the first ever Manchester United player to score in a World Cup final.
- Kylian Mbappe is the second-youngest scorer in a World Cup Final, behind Pele in 1958.
- Didier Deschamps became the third person to win the Fifa World Cup’ as player and coach, after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer. Deschamps and Beckenbauer are the only World Cup-winning captains to achieve the double.
- The only higher-scoring World Cup Final was Brazil-Sweden in 1958, which ended 5-2. France’s 4-2 win over Croatia follows identical results in Uruguay-Argentina in 1930, Italy-Hungary in 1938 and England-Germany in 1966.
- The most frequent scoreline in World Cup Finals is now 4-2, with four occurrences, followed by 1-0, 2-1 and 3-1, which have each occurred three times
- Luka Modric became the highest-placed Croat in the World Cup appearance list with 12 games played, one more than Dario Simic.
- Modric became the sixth consecutive winner of the Golden Ball award to not win the World Cup.
- France are now the sixth country to win more than one World Cup title. They join Brazil (5), Germany (4), Italy (4), Argentina (2) and Uruguay (2).
- When he was substituted, Olivier Giroud went off the pitch after playing 548 minutes during the tournament but failed to register a single shot on target.
- Harry Kane is the second England player to become top goalscorer of the tournament after Gary Lineker in 1986 - coincidently they both scored six goals.
(With AFP inputs)