• France have won their second World Cup title with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Croatia in the Moscow final 
  • President Emmanuel Macron was drenched by rain as he celebrated with French players after Sunday’s game 
  • A pitch invasion led by punk band Pussy Riot disrupted the game in front of watching President Vladimir Putin 
  • France took a early lead through Mario Mandzukic’s own goal before Ivan Perisic fired in to level for Croatia 
  • Antoine Griezmann put France back in front from the penalty spot after a lengthy VAR review for handball
  • Goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe extended France’s lead before Croatia’s Mandzukic got one back

France lifted their second title since 1998 after beating Croatia 4-2 in the FIFA World Cup 2018 final at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday. Goals from Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and an own-goal by Mario Mandzukic gave France the win in an entertaining clash. Croatia scored twice but that didn’t help their cause as their dream of lifting their maiden World Cup trophy didn’t materialise.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While Celebrating
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While Celebrating

The first half saw France lead through Mandzukic’s own-goal and Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia. Griezmann scored from the spot to restore France’s lead at half-time. The second half saw plenty of goals but France held their nerves to see them lift the World Cup.

Macron was soaked as he joined the celebrations after the match, speaking to every French player as a storm hit the stadium after the final whistle, while officials held up an umbrella for Putin.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While Celebrating
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While Celebrating

The match was disrupted in the second half when four people charged onto the field – with Russian punk band Pussy Riot claiming responsibility  – leading stewards and Croatian player Dejan Lovren to tackle the hat-wearing pitch invaders.

Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe hit the target for France alongside a Mario Mandzukic own goal, as Les Bleus lifted the title 20 years after their triumph on home soil in 1998, while Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic scored for runners-up Croatia.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While Celebrating
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While Celebrating

A jubilant Macron was drenched along with the French players while the trophy was handed out, as an extreme downpour hit the stadium just moments after the tournament came to a dramatic end.

But there was no rain outside the BBC’s broadcast studio in Red Square, more than four miles away.

Macron and his wife joined the players in the dressing room where the President was seen ‘dabbing’ with Paul Pogba and Benjamin Mendy, while the French squad burst into manager Didier Deschamps’s press conference as they continued their celebrations.

On the field the French took an a early lead when Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic headed a free kick into his own net after 18 minutes but team-mate Ivan Perisic cancelled out his error ten minutes later by firing in the equaliser.

Antoine Griezmann restored France’s lead before half time from the penalty spot after a lengthy video review which ended in a handball decision against Perisic.

Paul Pogba extended their lead just before the hour mark when he curled in at the second attempt after Griezmann had laid the ball off to the Manchester United player on the edge of the box.

French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates wildly after France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the World Cup final

Star player Kylian Mbappe’s long-range shot made it 4-1 before first-time finalists Croatia pulled a bizarre goal back thanks to an error from French keeper Hugo Lloris.

The highest-scoring World Cup final since England won the tournament in 1966 gives France their second title, two decades after their first when they hosted the competition in 1998.

French manager Didier Deschamps – the captain of the winning side in 1998 – becomes the third man, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer to win the trophy as both a player and a manager.

He said: ‘How marvellous! It’s a young team, who are on the top of the world. Some are champions at the age of 19. We did not play a huge game but we showed mental quality. And we scored four goals anyway. They deserved to win.

‘The group worked so hard and we had some tough moments along the way. It hurt so much to lose the Euro two years ago, but it made us learn too. For 55 days, we have done a lot of work. We are proud to be French, to be Blues. The victory in the match belongs to them. Vive la Republique.’

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic said: ‘First of all I want to congratulate France. We are sad but proud at the same time. We played well but the penalty knocked the wind out of us and after that it was very difficult.

‘We wanted to win the World Cup so much but that’s football. The French did not surprise us, we let in two soft goals coupled with an own goal and a penalty.’

President Vladimir Putin said Russia could be ‘proud’ of its hosting of the football World Cup, judging it a success ‘in every respect’ after Sunday’s final.’We can surely be proud of how we organised this tournament,’ Putin said in televised comments after France’s victory against Croatia.

‘We have made this grand event a success in every respect.’

He added that foreign visitors holding ‘fan ID’ cards for the World Cup could have visa-free entry to Russia for the rest of 2018.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingStriker Antoine Griezmann’s face is projected on to the Arc de Triomphe as French fans line the Champs-Elysees after the win
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFrench supporters celebrate on the Champs-Elysees with the Eiffel Tower in the background after their World Cup victory
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFrench fans watching the game at the Champs de Mars in Paris celebrate after their side’s 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFans wave their flags near the Eiffel Tower in Paris as they watch their side win a second World Cup with a win over Croatia

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric was awarded the Golden Ball after being voted as the best player at the World Cup, scoring two goals and playing a crucial role in  Croatia’s three come-from-behind wins in the knockout stages.

England’s Harry Kane won the Golden Boot for top scorer with six goals, three of which were penalties. French teenager Mbappe was voted young player of the tournament, while Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois was named best goalkeeper.

The next World Cup will kick off more than four years away as the 2022 tournament, hosted in Qatar, will take place in winter and begin on November 21.

In Paris thousands of fans celebrated wildly after watching the game on big screens on the Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower and on the Champs Elysees in the city centre.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFrench supporters celebrate on Champs-Elysees after France won the World Cup for the second time with a 4-2 win
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingSamuel Umtiti – who scored the semi-final winner against Belgium – is shown on the Arc de Triomphe as French fans celebrate
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingWater cannon was used to disperse crowds in Paris after clashes following the World Cup final celebrations in France
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingPolice disperse people with water cannons after celebrations following the French victory in the World Cup final on Sunday
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingPolice throwing tear gas at people rioting in Paris after celebrations following France’s World Cup victory over Croatia

There were some clashes in Paris where police were forced to use tear gas and water cannons on the Champs-Elysees, after shop windows were broken as celebrations spilled out of control.

Meanwhile in Zagreb euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment for Croatian fans after the national team lost were beaten in their first ever World Cup final.

The team’s achievement in reaching the final has brought the country of 4 million people to a standstill as officials and the media described the event as the biggest in Croatia’s sports history.

Croatia will on Monday stage a welcoming party for the soccer team in Zagreb. Thousands of Croat fans are expected to come to the main Zagreb square in the early afternoon when the players are due to arrive.

Croatia go up to receive their runners-up medals after they reached the final for the first time in their history

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic appealed to employers to let staff leave work early to join the celebration. Train tickets will be 50 percent cheaper for those wishing to travel to Zagreb from other Croatian cities for the occasion.

In Moscow France took the lead when Antoine Griezmann swung a free kick into the box and Mandzukic – who scored the winner against England in the semi-final – diverted the ball past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic’s outstretched hand.

Mandzukic’s unintended header was the 12th own goal of the World Cup, an all-time record, but the first ever scored during a World Cup final.

Croatia were level shortly afterwards when Perisic teed himself up with his right foot and fired past French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with his left after receiving the ball from Domagoj Vida.

But just 10 minutes later France were back in front when Griezmann calmly scored from the spot after a protracted VAR decision by referee Nestor Pitana to award a penalty for handball against Perisic.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFrance fans celebrate in Paris as they watch their side claim a second World Cup title with a win over Croatia in Moscow

And Griezmann helped to create France’s third goal after 59 minutes when he laid off Pogba at the edge of the box, who had his first shot blocked but scored at the second attempt.

Kylian Mbappe put France 4-1 ahead after 65 minutes when he drove in from outside the area, becoming the first teenager to score in the World Cup final since Pele found the net against Sweden as a 17-year-old in 1958.

Croatia pulled a goal back with twenty minutes left when Mandzukic tackled a dawdling Lloris to score from inside the box after a back-pass, but it was too late for the first-time finalists to mount a comeback.

Both teams were unchanged from the lineups that won their semi-final games. France beat Belgium 1-0, and Croatia beat England 2-1 in extra time to reach their first World Cup final.

Earlier on Sunday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic gave her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a Croatian soccer shirt with ‘Putin’ printed on the back, while Putin presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Croatia knocked Russia out of the competition in the quarter-finals.

Grabar-Kitarovic entered into the spirit of the occasion, travelling to Russia to watch matches and dressing in the colours of the national flag.

At a Kremlin meeting, Putin congratulated Grabar-Kitarovic on the Croatian team’s performance, saying: ‘I’m sure we will see a beautiful game today.’

Grabar-Kitarovic thanked Putin for what she said was the successful organisation of the competition.

In Moscow, streets around the Luzhniki Stadium filled up from early as fans of the two nations, plus others lucky enough to have secured a ticket, converged on the 80,000-seater venue.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFrench fans let off flares in front of the Eiffel Tower as they celebrate their country winning the World Cup for a second time
World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingFrench football fans celebrate around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris after watching their side defeat Croatia in the final

Moscow’s ornate metro, which has offered free rides to spectators, was again a carnival of colour and noise as excited fans headed to the venue where strict security was in place.

Elsewhere in the city, streetwalk cafes were filled with supporters clad in Croatian and French colours, plus those of other countries, enjoying a late breakfast or early lunch before heading to the imposing stadium, on the banks of the Moskva River.

Outside the imposing hotel where FIFA officials and guests were staying, a fleet of black cars waited to take them to the venue while watchful police stood conspicuously outside.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingPeople celebrate in Paris after they watched the World Cup final which France won 4-2 to claim their second title

Meanwhile, both French and Croatian WAGs jetted into Moscow to cheer on their men. 

Pamela Anderson was set to be in the stands in the Luzhniki Stadium to support her boyfriend Adil Rami. She posted a sultry black and white picture of herself on Instagram ahead of the match, writing: ‘Bonjour… big day.’

The 51-year-old Baywatch star cheered on her beau during France’s semi-final showdown against Belgium in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

The Canadian-American actress and the 32-year-old defender are rumoured to be engaged after meeting at the Monaco Grand Prix in May last year.

Meanwhile, other excited wives and girlfriends documented their journey to watch the final on social media.

French forward Kylian Mbappe’s model girlfriend Alicia Aylies – last year’s Miss France winner – shared videos from her flight to Moscow as well as a glamorous selfie. 


Benjamin Pavard’s girlfriend Rachel Legrain-Trapani – another former Miss France – also excitedly documented her journey to Moscow.

The mother-of-one, who was previous married to former FC Nantes player Aurélien Capoue, shared a picture of her plane ticket.

World Cup 2018 Final | France Wins | Second FIFA World Cup | Fans Goes Crazy | While CelebratingBenjamin Pavard’s girlfriend Rachel Legrain-Trapani shared a selfie wearing a red, white and blue dress in her Moscow hotel room

Later, she posted selfies of herself wearing a dress in the colours of France’s national flag inside her Moscow hotel room.

Despite his lack of playing time during this year’s tournament, Florian Thauvin’s girlfriend Charlotte Pirroni also continued to cheer on France alongside other WAGs on Sunday.

The 24-year-old has already taken to Instagram to show her support for France, with a sponsored post of herself in a blue outfit, captioned: ‘It’s time for the final… Go Blues!’

The Monaco-born model’s French grandfather Louis Pirroni has played football for teams in France and Monaco and managed the principality’s club three times in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s.

French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ wife Marine and their two children were already in Moscow on Saturday. She shared videos of her kids enjoying time in a swimming pool in the Russian capital, adding: ‘Good vibes only.’

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