Argentina’s Nestor Pitana to officiate World Cup final

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France have done just enough to reach the final, but it is hard to feel inspired by an ultra-defensive team grinding their way to a 1-0 victory in the semis when Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele, Benjamin Mendy, and Nail Fekir warm the bench. But we know that it is an opportunity lost. "For a small country like Croatia, with 4.2 million people, (the final) means much more than a soccer game".

"The Fiery Ones are in the final, the nation is in a trance - one more step to the title!" said the Jutarnji List, using the team's nickname. "Over the last couple of days people have recognised that".

Gareth Southgate has been urged to push for an unprecedented bronze medal and finish England's World Cup campaign with a flourish.

Pogba said that the Les Blues are determined not to make the same mistakes they did two years ago in losing the Euro 2016 final at home to Portugal when they face the Croats at the Luzhniki Stadium.

"This group could still do something in two years", he said in a reference to the 2020 European Championship. I don't want it to happen again.

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Croatia was under French control from 1809-14, part of the Illyrian Provinces, an autonomous area of Napoleon's First French Empire. We would be delighted if Modric won the MVP and the Golden Ball for being the best player at the tournament. He played the game with great maturity.

Goalkeeper Tomislav Butina's clearance was blocked at the top of the penalty area by the hand of David Trezeguet, who kicked the ball into the net for an equaliser in the 64th minute of a 2-2 draw.

Croatia went ahead in the 1998 semifinal only 26 seconds into the second half when Aljosa Asanovic split the defence with a pass, and Davor Suker scored his fifth goal of the tournament. Southgate should have withdrawn one of his forwards to add more clout in central midfield, which may have stamped out Luka Modric's growing authority. They've got a talented team, filled with players from some of the biggest clubs in the world, like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is in line to make his second appearance in place of Kieran Trippier, who injured his groin against Croatia.

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