#36: FIFA World Cup 2018

64 matches, 32 teams, eight groups and four weeks of football thrills.

It all came down to one team lifting the Jules Rimet trophy.

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France win second World Cup at the FIFA World Cup 2018 Final after beating Croatia 4-2 at Luzhniki Stadium in Russia.

France’s Les Bleus.

It’s been two days since the World Cup Final and I still can’t get over France’s joyous victory against Croatia. I enjoyed every moment of this tournament and in all honesty, I have to commend Russia for delivering one of the best and exhilarating World Cups in living memory.

This year’s tournament has also witnessed some quite awe-inspiring stories, from massive surprises like the resurrection of England, the arrival of France’s new global star Kylian Mbappe, to huge upsets such as the decline and fall of former World Cup holders, Germany and Spain. History was made, world records were broken – as were many hearts – but most of all, football was fantastic.

Ever since the 2006 World Cup, I have had the privilege to watch football nations vie for a gold cup from the convenience of my living room (of course, what an experience it would be if I actually went to all previous World Cups). This year was no different. I set up my Sky Sports and voila, football all day long, even at work — through my iphone’s app, that is.

However, despite this, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of incompleteness knowing that the Netherlands had missed out on a great sporting event. The Oranje have always been the team I cheered for ever since I stepped into the world of football. But never mind, there’s always next time, right? And I’m sure there will be more opportunities for the Dutch National Football Team to prove to the world that they are definitely one of the best.

On that note, I was left with a choice to root for another team, France! So to honour their triumph, let’s relive some of their best moments that will endure in the collective memory of those who love the beautiful sport.

Les Bleus played 3 matches in Group C and 4 matches as they progressed outside of their group stage. Their first at Kazan Arena against Australia, the score was 2-1.

Five days later, they crushed many Peruvian hearts as they beat Peru on a 1-0 match in Ekaterinburg Arena.

However, Les Bleus found themselves on a goalless match against Denmark as strikers from both teams failed to meet the end of the net. This was Russia 2018’s first 0-0 match.

Nevertheless, this only propelled Les Bleus to work harder, pushing through to the Round of 16, where they crushed Argentina 4-3 in Kazan Arena.

France reached the Quarter-finals on 7th July to face Uruguay at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. French supporters cheered as Griezmann’s 61st minute goal qualified them through to the Semi-finals…

..to face its friendly neighbour, Belgium. France beat the Red Devils on a 1-0 match in Saint Petersburg Stadium, thanks to Umtiti’s 51st minute spectacular goal.

It was France versus Croatia for the FIFA World Cup Final at Luzhniki Stadium, or as the commentators put it, it was youthful France against Croatian veterans. This year’s final saw many memorable moments, including Mandzukic’s own goal to Mbappe’s stunning strike.

So many football stories to tell and strikes to savour. We’ll have to wait for four more years for it all to happen again. But for now, it’s France’s time.

 

[Source of Featured Images: Google Images]

© jodiepages.wordpress.com 2018

 

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