By the numbers: Croatia-France World Cup championship preview

Croatia_France

And then there were two. After one month and 63 matches filled with surprises, drama, and upsets, it will be an all-European World Cup final between Croatia and France.

It was 20 years ago when these two squads met in the 1998 edition, with Les Bleus eliminating Vatreni in the semifinal round and eventually winning their lone trophy in football’s grandest stage. Will France give Croatia another heartbreak or will the there be a reversal of fortune this time around?

Before the last match kicks off in Moscow, here are some facts and figures heading into the championship round:

World Cup appearances
Croatia — 5
France — 14

Championships won
Croatia — 0
France — 1 (1998)

Goals made heading to the final
Croatia — 12
France — 10

World Cup trophy
Getty Images

0 – number of red cards slapped on both teams in the tournament

1 – number of players with Filipino blood playing in the final: Alphonse Areola (goalie, France)

3 — number of times France has appeared in a final

3 — straight games Croatia ended in a draw

7 — out of 8 of its last games France ended in a draw

7 — France’s FIFA world ranking

14 — the height, in inches, of the World Cup trophy

19 – age of France’s Kylian Mbappe, Les Bleus’ leading scorer

20 – Croatia’s position in the FIFA world rankings

26 – average age of players in France’s roster

32 – age of Croatia’s Luka Modric, one of the team’s leading scorers

1-0 – final score of the France-Belgium semifinal match

2-1 – final score of the Croatia-England semifinal match (extra time)

2-1 — what football experts predicted the final score to be in favor of France

80,000 – total capacity of the Luzhniki Stadium

$38,000,000 – prize money the 2018 World Cup champion will get

 

Croatia potential starters
GK Danijel Subašić; Ds Ivan Strinić, Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Šime Vrsaljko; MFs Marcelo Brozović, Ivan Perišić, Ivan Rakitić, Luka Modrić, Ante Rebić; F Mario Mandžukić

France potential starters
GK Hugo Lloris; Ds Lucas Hernández, Samuel Umtiti, Raphaël Varane, Benjamin Pavard; MFs N’Golo Kanté, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi; Fs Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Olivier Giroud

 

 

 

 

About Kristina Maralit 124 Articles
Thomasian / Kicks like a girl -- former UAAP and national inter-school TaeKwonDo champion / Beating deadlines since 1999 / Director, National Press Club of the Philippines.

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