Soccer may be a game of two halves, but if neither side wins after the 90 minutes of regular play and 30 minutes of extra time, then it all comes down to a penalty shootout. That could be what decides the winner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup as it did in 1994 for Brazil and 2006 for Italy.
A “new era for England”; a young team who “did their country proud”; a manager who embraced and consoled each of his players afterwards hailed a national hero who “united the country”.
The French football team has won the 2018 World Cup, 20 years after it triumphed on home soil in 1998. “Les Bleus”, as they’re called, are back in the nation’s good books, celebrated for their excellent performance in this year’s tournament
It has been reported that less than 1% of boys who enter academies before the age of 14 will ever make it to the professional level of the game. This already sets Gary Cahill, Fabien Delph, Harry Maguire, and Kyle Walker apart from the majority of boys who want to succeed in British football.
Croatia may have lost to France in the World Cup final, but the small Eastern European nation may just have won something altogether more precious – worldwide recognition on a whole new level.
There’s little doubt the World Cup has been a massive victory for Russia, and a double win for President Vladimir Putin. For starters, the tournament has imbued Russians with an immense sense of pride. Even though the Russian team lost in the quarterfinals to Croatia.
France might have won the 2018 World Cup title, but who were the real winners in the broadcast battle? Not everyone could make it to Russia to watch the games live, and that left people all over the world relying on the distribution and associated media rights within their region.
Most football fans will still be reflecting on France’s win, Germany’s failure, Messi’s frustrations, Harry Kane’s goals and the rest. Yet many of us who followed the off-field games just as closely will have found the World Cup a largely uneventful tournament.
After all, one better-than-expected tournament cannot erase a series of major scandals. These include the infamous decision by its executive committee to award the 2022 finals to Qatar.
FC Barcelona defender Yerry Mina has said that he wants to be a success at the club, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo on Saturday.
Jair Ventura, the son of Brazil great Jairzinho, has been sacked as coach of Santos after a poor run of results.
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) must be restructured for the national team to once against thrive, according to Albiceleste great Diego Maradona. Argentina were eliminated from this summer's World Cup in Russia following a 4-3 loss to eventual champions France in the round of 16.
The arrival of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo soon added more heat to a steamy Beijing summer after the 2018 Russia World Cup sparked football mania across the country.
My life will continue and I'm now going to give my all for PSG," he added. After a forgettable World Cup Neymar ready to turn the tides for PSG
Özil questioned whether there were criteria for being German that he did not meet and asked why he should be referred to as German-Turkish
There wasn't a single act of violence, not from the fans and not from the policemen that were helping the bus through the river of pure joy.
In his career Cahill totalled 50 goals for Australia, making him the leading all-time goalscorer for the side
The youthful French team were greeted with an unforgettable homecoming parade in an open-top bus down the Champs Élysées
Ronaldo will earn 30 million euros per season at the Allianz Stadium, a sum the Juve board hopes will return La Vecchia Signorato to the summit of European football.
The tone was set on the opening day when hosts Russia romped to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, fired by two superb goals from super-sub Denis Cheryshev
VAR has been a constant factor in the World Cup and it is the third time the French have benefited from its use during the final
With a population of around 4.5 million, Croatia became the smallest European nation to reach the World Cup final in the 88-year history of the competition.
The former Sevilla and Chile boss "begged" for the fans' forgiveness after the Croatia defeat and took responsibility.
Kane ended with 6 goals; two more than Griezmann, who was joined on 4 by Romelu Lukaku of Belgium and Russia's Denis Cheryshev
France never looked completely in control against a brave Croatia side, but Mbappe was vital for the French on the break, helping set up Pogba for the third goal and then scoring the fourth from outside of the area
It's the grand final of the beautiful game so what better way than to compare notes on the players to watch out for at Moscow.
The 19-year-old has been a pivotal part of the France World Cup team that will meet Croatia in Sunday's final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
More than 100,000 people are expected to welcome the team at the central square in Zagreb.
Belgium's third place beats their previous best of fourth in 1986, while the English were unable to go one better than the 4th place their achieved in 1990.
It is a final very few people could have anticipated four weeks ago, when the competition in Russia was just beginning.
According to Lahm, Loew needs to institute "a culture of clearer decisions" and put an increased emphasis on personal responsibility in the team.
It is fair to conclude that all the disappointments with the Croatia national team faced made them stronger and hungrier to prove their critics wrong.
This is after all a team which has just qualified for the World Cup finals, two years after reaching the final of Euro 2016 on home soil.
Triumph, on the football field, demonstrated that integration had been successful in France and anyone could reach the top of French society.
Dalic praised the attitude of his players against England, some of whom endured 120 minutes with "half a leg".
England advanced to the semifinal with a 2-0 victory over Sweden on Saturday while Croatia overcame Russia in a penalty shootout.
Dalic's side earned a semifinal berth by beating Russia on penalties while England progressed with a 2-0 win over Sweden.
Umtiti took advantage of a lapse in defence to nod the ball past Thibaut Courtois via a slight deflection to give them a win in a tight but entertaining game
France will play Sunday's final, while Belgium will play in the game for third and fourth place on Saturday.
Following confirmation of his move to Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo writes an emotional letter to his supporters at Real Madrid
The Portugal international is understood to have signed a four-year contract with the Serie A club worth 30 million euros a season.
The five-time world champions and tournament favourites exited football's showpiece event after a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Belgium on Friday.